So, that just happened.

I live in a pretty small town in the country. Our population is 2,180 but I’m not sure if they have updated the sign since we moved here so let’s call it 2,184.

I love living here. Coming from a busy city, I appreciate that we only have one general store that sells everything you could possibly need (Well, actually, it’s more like they sell candy bars and pies- but I am VERY comfortable with this). Because we are such a small community, I felt an immediate sense of inclusion. People are so freaking nice here. When you’re standing outside waiting for the school bus, people actually stop and say hello to you. After two minutes you know their daughter is visiting on the weekend, they have two cats- they used to have three but Misty got out last Spring and never came home, and they will be returning this afternoon with that cobbler recipe they told you about.

As any good resident to a new town, I immediately joined their social media group which mainly consists of people posting that their cat has gotten out, or they heard a loud noise and want to know if anyone else heard it.

I was late getting out of the house last week. My son couldn’t find his glasses, so the time I usually spend making my coffee was spent turning the house upside down looking for his glasses (we eventually found them in the exact spot I told him to look from the beginning). Finally managing to get the kids on the bus, I quickly made my coffee and got in the car. The quickest route to work consists of going down a country road for a quarter of an hour with no cellphone reception. It makes me a little nervous so I try and avoid this route in the evening, but I guess I am a risk taker in daylight and drive down it in the mornings.

I just turned onto the road that morning and spotted a small dog to my right, just wandering around. Even though I was late for work, I had to pull the car over. I know I would have thought about the dog all day if I didn’t at least stop and try to help. Disclaimer: Since moving to the country I have discovered that just because roads are winding and have many blind corners, this does not slow people down. I was therefore imagining this poor dog getting hit by a car and in my mind it would have been my fault. Anyways, I got out of the car and not sure what to do, I tried to call the dog over to me. He looked up, but made no indication of coming over to me. I looked both ways and then took a few steps towards him, but every step I took he kept backing up more and more. At this point I was really late for work, and I thought better of trying to somehow get a hold of dog that really didn’t want me to approach it. Instead, I grabbed my phone and took a picture of him and posted it to our town’s social media group. The post went something like this:

Hello! This is my first post to the group (yah!). I was just on my way to work when I saw this dog wandering down the side of the road. I have tried to call him to me, but he doesn’t seem very friendly so thought better of approaching him. I thought I would post a picture of him instead, and if anyone is missing their dog or anyone knows whose dog this is, come and get him! Hope he gets home soon!

I attached the picture to the post and continued my drive to work. When I got to work the first thing I did was check my phone to see if anyone had commented on my post. There was only one comment and it read:

Umm, yeah, that’s a coyote. Definitely don’t try and put him in your car.

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I’m back, baby! Oh boy, does it ever feel like a long time since I’ve had a go at writing a blog post (probably because it HAS been a long time since I’ve wrote a blog post, ha!). But that’s all in the past now, because my new year’s resolution is to get back into the blogging world.

Well, in all honesty, my new year’s resolution was to spend more time doing things I love to do, but this totally falls into that category.  This is my plan: I am going to write three blog posts a week. I know, I know, I shouldn’t run before I can walk, right? But, in all fairness my original idea was to do a new blog post every day. So, you see, this is actually the more reasonable of my ideas. Anyways, the plan:

Mondays: So, that just happened.

You would be absolutely shocked at the things I see and hear in my everyday life. My friends have a running joke of: “That would only happen to you…”, and I plan on sharing these crazy events with you guys and gals.

Wednesday: If you write it….

This day is dedicated to all things literary. It could be about what I’m writing that week; what I am struggling to write that week; a good/bad book I’ve recently read. Sky’s the limit!

Fridays: Fashionista Fridays.

It may seem hard to believe (me being so level headed and sensible), but I love new and shiny things. I love watching YouTube tutorials on pretty much anything and then seeing if I can do said thing myself. I love finding an amazing deal! Fridays are dedicated to my score of the week!

It’s been a struggle.

Well, it has been a year since I published my last book, June Jenson and the Shield of Quell.  I have a sequel in the works (I am about 80 percent done, and if I am honest the last 20 percent is as much of a struggle as the first 80 was).  The book is good (you know, in my humble opinion), and I am not FORCING words to come out, it’s more forcing myself to sit in my chair and write it.  I desperately want to tell June’s story, and I am hoping that this will be a three-part series.  But let me tell you, I take my hat off to historical writers.  Especially historical fiction writers.  There is a lot of research that needs to go into a historical book, but then to really mess with the whole process I then have to weave fiction into what actually happened and make it sound believable (Dan Brown, I literally have no idea how you did it).  Having said that, I am enjoying the series.  I love the Professor.  I love all the characters, but he is definitely my favourite (don’t tell the others!), and once I get into the swing of things re:writing it comes out so naturally.  But then I have to do some “real life” things like laundry, kid’s soccer games and go to work and I can’t seem to get my butt back into that chair for weeks.

I am apart of a local writers group and I find it very helpful with the motivation and determination to get this done.  A) because I can’t really show up to the meetings without something written and B) talking about writing with people who are just as passionate about it as I am is very encouraging.  I now try to clear my mornings the week after my meetings while I am still in the “zone” and write my heart out.  Then for the next three weeks I get distracted until the next meeting and it all starts again!  Maybe one day I can be a writer full time and I will have to drag myself OUT of the chair (that’s exactly how that would work, right?).

Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know that June Jenson Book #2 (another problem is the book title, but I really can’t tackle it right now on top of everything else!) is on it’s way hopefully by the end of the summer.

I am hoping to release a traditional chick-lit Christmas book before the New Year as well so I really need to get on this!

More updates to come, I promise.

The Price of Ebooks, Thoughts?

Recently my writer’s group and I (another fun blog post to come next week about this wonderful group) have been having a little debate over the price of eBooks. Obviously this has been spurred on between the argument between Hachette and other major publishing houses with Amazon. I won’t get into the argument, mainly because I have tried to avoid a little of the “drama” here. I’ve read Hachette’s side, I’ve read Amazon’s side. I very clearly saw how they were trying to get both authors and readers on each of their sides. I stayed in Switzerland.

The argument is two fold here.

A) Should publishing houses be told how to price their eBooks? (I guess indie authors are in the mix here too.)

The answer to this directly corresponds to the second part of this argument.

B) Should eBook prices be lower than print prices for the same book?

I’ll try and be brief in my answers as I would really like everyone else to weigh in on this as well and wouldn’t want my long winded opinion to sway you from your gut reaction. Even in my writing group we are slightly divided. My friend Dan, who writes amazing sci-fi and thriller books (www.danielside.com), is on the equal eBook/print prices and his arguments are pretty enticing as well.

For the first question, my first reaction is no­ Amazon and other big retailers should not be able to dictate to the publishing houses how much they want to sell their books for. I’ve been ticked off quite a few times with Amazon’s seemingly endless and overbearing rules (sometimes I feel I am in business with Christian Grey here ;)). As an author, publisher, etc., if you want to put your book on sale through Amazon and receive your standard royalty you have to sign up for KDP, which basically translates to Amazon owns you for a three month period. That’s right, you cannot have you eBook listed on ANY other site for that time. If you chose not to enroll in KDP you can still put your book on sale but you receive a FRACTION of the price you normally would (I believe it falls from 70% royalty to 35% royalty).

So yes, I think in theory we should stand tall and say no to the bullies who try to dictate our eBook pricing. But the problem is, Amazon are just so freaking successful. Not just for themselves (though I seriously do not want to even think about what their bank account looks like), but they show us results too. I sell, hands down, WAY more books through Kindle Amazon than any other platform I have my books listed on. I’m talking like 99% of my sales are through them. Who knows, maybe this is me doing something wrong, but I don’t think so. I only have one book listed under KDP, the rest are normal listings and even those out perform through Kindle than on any other platform. So, unfortunately for me I begrudgingly have to agree to Amazon’s­ at times bully-ish­ rules and not bite the hand that feeds me.

For the second question, I think this is where a lot of people become divided. Personally, as an avid reader first and foremost, I think eBooks should be priced at a lower cost than print books. I stand by this as an author too (though I have some exceptions on this that I will explain in a moment). First off is the simple economics. It doesn’t take as much money to produce an eBook as it does a print book. It just doesn’t. Yes, the initial costs for both are the same: editor, proofreader, cover design, etc. Yes there is a cost to make an eBook (though to be honest you can get a decent eBook formatting for under a hundred dollars and it is done in under 24 hours… nothing earth shattering but it gets the job done). If I sell an eBook, after those initial costs I don’t have a lot of overhead. Yes, the retailer takes their share­ roughly 30%, but this is based on the price that I set. For example (for simple math) if I sold my book for $1.00, I would have to pay $0.30 to the retailer for “selling my book”. Physical books however are more set in their costs­ first you have to pay to actually produce each book (for indie authors maybe roughly $3.00-$6.00 depending on the length of the book), then I have to pay the retailer their royalties for “selling my book” and then I get my own royalty from whatever is left over. Putting aside the economics for a minute, there is also the lack of versatility with the eBook. You have it on your eReader and there it will stay. I can’t loan it to my grandma, aunt, friend, etc. unless they also have an eReader and even then the eBook has to have a “lending” option, set by the retailer and author.

From a writer’s perspective, I also think lower eBook prices are a way to gain new readers. Personally, I am just not willing to spend $14.99+ on an author I have never heard of… But I am more than glad to spend that on an author I love and know I will enjoy the read. I think as an author, careful pricing of our eBooks is a way to gain new readership. Here’s an example: I once got a free eBook written by Marie Force. I hadn’t read any of her other books but this was a first in the series. After I read, and loved, her book I very willingly paid $4.99+ for each of the other books she wrote in the series. I think there is close to ten now. I probably, in all honesty, would have never read any of her books and now I am a huge fan. I try and price my eBooks fairly so I’m not undermining my time and craft but so people who have never heard of me will give my books a chance. Then, once they have read my work and hopefully liked it, I would hope they would stick with me for the rest of my career.

Okay, so here is the BUT. I can completely understand why the major publishing houses have to price their eBooks higher. Publishing houses have very large overheads. There are many people whose salaries depend on the sale of those books. Editors, marketing, proofreaders, copy editors, even the nice newbie who has to bring everyone coffee and their mail. When you slice the pie up, you have to price the eBook higher so that people can pay their mortgages. I don’t believe, however, that because you charge more for an eBook it means that it is a better quality book. I’ve read some terrible traditionally published books priced at $14.99+ and some FANTASTIC indie books for $0.99! And vice versa. Sometimes I think indie authors undersell themselves, but that’s a different debate.

Okay I will leave you with a final tidbit to mull over before you let me know what you think:

Traditional publishers usually give roughly a 30% royalty on eBooks to their authors, 10-15% usually for print books. This makes me wonder if they too realize that the overhead is not as great for eBooks and are therefore able to give more back to the author.

Okay, I think I’ve talked enough now.

What are your thoughts?

Definitely worth waiting for the postman!

They’re here! It seems like August 21st is so far away but then I look at the busy calendar and realize it will be here in no time at all. The advanced copies of My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero have arrived today and they’re just as shiny as I dreamed they’d be!

Other exciting news: White Lies is a finalist for the Excellence in Romantic Fiction award, the winners are revealed on July 15th!

Checking Inn received the Readers’ Favourite 5 star review and I have been given a lovely embossed stamp to add to my website and as soon as I can figure out how to do something other then type and click save on the computer I shall add it!

The quilt is still in progress. Don’t ask or you might be subjected to a rant and some potty mouth from me (bloody sewing machine!!!).

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My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero Excerpt and Giveaway

Want to win an advanced reading copy of My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero?  Just tweet (with the hashtag #MySortofKindofHero) or leave a comment on Emily Harper’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/authoremilyharper) about the most heroic thing you’ve ever witnessed or done yourself!  In the meantime, please enjoy an excerpt from the novel which will be available August 21st 2014.  Winner will be picked at random at 5pm on Friday, July 13 2014.  Good luck!

My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero available AUGUST 21 2014

My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero available AUGUST 21 2014

 

She looked at the mass of rumpled sheets beside her and frowned; something was wrong.  She tried to quiet her breathing, but the panic caused a pounding in her ears.

She expected this, so why was she so surprised?

Scrambling to stand up, she wrapped herself up in the thick duvet and ran into the main room of the cabin.  The fire had died down but the remnants were still crackling in the hearth. She flushed with memories of the desire that had licked through her veins the night before in front of that very fire. Shaking her head in order to clear her mind, she looked to the door and saw that his boots were missing and his coat was gone.

Quickly, she ran to the door and flung it upon, unconcerned with the biting cold that snapped its teeth at her exposed flesh. 

“So, when you invite someone to have coffee with you, do you normally sit there and write the whole time?”

I look up with wide eyes.  To be honest, I forgot he was sitting there.

“I’ll just be a minute, and you’re early,” I point out.

She couldn’t stay out in the cold for very long, but needed at least another minute.  He wouldn’t leave like that; not without saying goodbye.

“Well, not to rush your artistic breakthrough here, but I have to be back at work in fifteen minutes,” Travis breaks into my thoughts again.

It’s just so typical.  I’ve had writer’s block for days now− I literally couldn’t write a coherent sentence− then about a minute before Travis walks through the door it’s like the sea parted and Moses was on the other side looking relieved and waving at me.

It’s pretty depressing when your mental metaphors are better than the crap you managed to put on paper that week.

They say when you have writer’s block you should clear your mind and the ‘inspiration’ will just come.  But my mind doesn’t go blank, and I’ve spent the last three hours staring at the wall and wondering if you want French toast in France, do you ask for French toast, or just toast?

And now, because I’ve thought about it so much, I actually care what the answer is.  Obviously not one of my better days.

And now Travis is here for our meeting, sitting across from me at the small bistro table, constantly checking his watch.

You know, I bet Julie Garwood doesn’t have these problems.  People understand that when her pen touches paper an invisible ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign is hung on her forehead.

The only thing on my forehead is bangs that were clearly a mistake.

Mainly because I thought I could cut them myself.

Travis is staring at me, idly bouncing his leg, and I’m torn between closing my notebook and being polite, or pretending I didn’t hear him.

I’ve known Travis… well I can’t remember a time I didn’t know him, so we’ll just call it a long time.  He grew up in the subsidized apartment building a few blocks from our typical suburban house.  He was a little… rough… growing up.  My brother, Scott, brought him home one day, almost like you would a stray cat, and from that day forward it was like my mother had three children instead of two.  Except Travis never lived with us; he went home every night to an apartment with a mother who just didn’t care about her own son.  I used to think that maybe if my parents hadn’t looked after Travis growing up, his own mother would have stepped up, but I think they just saved him from the inevitable.

“You haven’t even got a drink yet,” I volunteer a solution.  “And I wouldn’t mind a refill.”

His eyes take me in, probably assessing my stubbornness, which has always been a vital part of my personality, before he sighs and stands up.

Momentarily distracted from my creative breakthrough, I watch Travis as he goes to order his coffee; my writer’s eye assesses him in an instant, turning him into a character from one of my books for a moment.  It’s a habit I don’t ever seem to be able to turn off.  It’s actually a bit annoying really− especially when I’ve been trying to write my actual leading hero for the last few days, and all I’ve come up with is he has long hair.

Something tells me I’m going to need to give a few more details in the character description.

Travis is still wearing his winter hat but I can see the mop of black hair curling out from beneath it.  His eyes are brown− just plain old brown.  He’s smiling at the barista, the dimple on the one side of his cheek ever present.  He obviously has been spending time outside, as I can see the snowflakes have left their mark on his down filled vest, a flimsy plaid shirt underneath.  Travis is the only person I know who wears only a vest in the middle of a Toronto winter. He always complains he is too hot.  I don’t leave the house without my fur lined boots and a Parka.

I would make him the best friend, I decide.  I mean, I know that he’s always been my brother’s best friend, so I am slightly biased here, but he’s just not how I picture my leading man.  Though God knows enough girls seem to fall all over themselves to get to him.  It’s kind of tragic, really.  And he has the physique for the ‘leading man’ for sure; his upper body is built from all his visits to the gym.  But he’s just too genuine.  Not enough mystique there to be a smouldering hero.

Scanning the distant mountains her eyes freeze on the Northern hills.  On the shadowed mountain range, way off in the distance, she could see the sight that her eyes had been searching for. 

There, on top of the highest peak, he sat on his horse.  The beautiful animal turned, its head pointing to the rising sun, supporting its rider.  Although it seemed too far, she felt his penetrating gaze as it pierced right to her soul.

My pen stops and I bite the side of my cheek.  And then what?  She sees him, he sees her…

I look around and see Travis is still talking to the woman making his coffee.  She’s blushing and hanging on his every word.  I could use this.

She’s obviously goggling over him, prolonging the coffee making process so that he will keep talking to her.  Everyone seems to be a sucker for that dimple.  If he suddenly left and walked away, what would she feel?  What would she do?

She’d probably wonder if she should keep making the coffee.

No− that’s only because I’ve known him my whole life and don’t get the fascination women have with him.  To me, he’s Travis, the boy who always pulls my hair and fidgets when I talk about sex.

But to this woman he could look like Mr. Darcy; he’s got the hair for it.

From that giggle and blank look in her eyes, however, she’s definitely not capable of pulling off Elizabeth Bennet.

Maybe Bella and Edward.  She doesn’t know anything about him and she’s already smitten.  Also, she keeps dropping everything.  She’d be perfect as Bella.

She raised her hand, just to feel the connection, to feel that it was all real.  But he was too far.  The connection was slowly slipping out of her grasp – the wind carrying it to someplace beyond.

I puff out my cheeks and tap my pen to my lips.  Think… Think…

Okay, he’s on the hill.  She can’t get near him.  He’s leaving forever…

She watched as he reared his horse before turning and disappearing into the horizon.  Lowering her hand she lifted her chin; watching, waiting, even though she knew the efforts were futile.

The table suddenly lurches from underneath me and my pen slides off the page.  I look up to Travis, who has his hands raised in defence.

“Sorry, my foot kicked the table leg,” he looks apologetic.

I look back down at my notebook and write the final words.

Into the howling wind she sighed and whispered the words that she hoped would find their way home.  “Come back to me.”

“Okay, let’s do this thing,” Travis says as I finally put down my pen.

“Okay, so I have all the food organized,” I say, meeting his eyes again.  “And you did the guest list, right?”

“Pretty much.  I just did it on Facebook,” he shrugs.  “And your parents are okay with it being at their house?”

“I had to talk them into it, but I told them that thirty year olds don’t make a mess like eighteen year olds do,” I say, taking a sip of the drink Travis bought me.

He winces.  “Yeah, I guess Scott and I got a little out of control that night.  Man, it took us forever to save up the money to fix the broken windows.”

I swallow my drink and frown at him.  “Did you get me hot chocolate?”

“It’s your favourite,” he says, smiling.

“It was when I was five.  Now I prefer coffee like the rest of the adult world.”

“What happened to little Etty Lawrence? You remember:  girl with the little blond curly pigtails, always trying to keep up with her big brother and his sexy best friend?”

“You’re only three years older than me!  You saw me go to prom, you saw me graduate university.  And plus, it would be creepy for a thirty year old man to be taking a little girl out for drinks on a regular basis.”

“You still order Shirley Temples, so I’m not sure you’re helping your argument there.”

Damn it, that’s true.  But I’m a sucker for those little swords with the cherries and orange slices.

“Scott doesn’t suspect anything, right?” I ask.

“Are you kidding?  He knows pretty much everything,” Travis says as if there was ever a doubt.

“What?  Did you tell him?” I accuse.

“Etty, he’s turning thirty.  He’d have to be a moron to not know there is going to be a party.  You always order food from the same place, and we both live in a shoe box, so your parents’ house is the only place that could fit more than five people.  It didn’t take Einstein.”

I chew on my bottom lip.

“We will have to do something spontaneous,” I say, nodding my head.

“Slow down,” he says, holding up his hands.  “Don’t go crazy.  The party we planned is fine.”

Why does everyone always say that to me?  Like they think I go overboard on everything.

Which is so untrue.  Everything I plan is with love, and I am in complete control the whole time.  It’s the plans that have a mind of their own.  I mean, did I ask the magician to put my mom in that box for his ‘Disappearing Trick’ even though my mother’s claustrophobic?  No.  And after I calmed her down and she drank a bottle of wine I think even she appreciated that it was a pretty cool trick.  And my dad fumbling with the keys to get her unlocked and punching out the magician− it was so romantic.

Sadly, I did lose my security deposit on that one.

“I know what you’re thinking, but you don’t need to do anything more than you’ve already planned.  He’s turning thirty, not going to space or something.  Drinks, food and music is all anyone expects.”

“Exactly, that’s what they expect.  We can’t just have a boring old party or no one will remember it!” I argue.  “How many times is my only brother going to turn thirty?”

“You used that argument to go to Montreal on your eighteenth.  And when your dad turned fifty and we all went to Vegas.  And when you hired reindeer for Lily’s first Christmas.  It’s kind of been done now.”

Honestly, a couple of reindeer get lost in the suburbs and you would think the world was coming to an end the way people freaked out.  But my brother wasn’t taking his daughter’s first Christmas seriously.  Is it too much for me to want her to have a firm grasp of Santa Claus?  I don’t want her turning out like Susan Walker from Miracle on 34th Street.

“Just leave it to me,” I say, closing my notebook.  “I have everything under control.  He’s going to have the best time ever.”

“Should I have the fire department on standby?” he asks, smiling.

I offer him a fake laugh.  “Ha, Ha.  Very funny.”

“So you have a signing tomorrow?” he asks, sipping his coffee.

“Yeah, not that there is much point.  Two people at the last one.  It was pathetic,” I say, shaking my head.

I don’t mention the two people were my parents.

“I’ll try and stop by,” he offers.

“You don’t need to,” I shrug.  “I know it’s not your kind of thing.”

“If you’re there, then it’s my kind of thing.  You know you’re my favourite author,” he says, offering me a lopsided grin that I know makes all the Bellas of the world swoon.

“I’m your only author,” I counter.  “You have one bookshelf which has like six books on it, and they’re all mine.”

“Seven after tomorrow,” he winks.  “I like to have a backup copy.”

“I got another rejection yesterday,” I say, sighing.  “I’m up to one hundred and eight.  Do you know what one hundred and eight rejections does to a person’s self-esteem?”

“Maybe they don’t know what they are talking about?  Didn’t that Harry Potter lady get rejected a bunch of times?” he offers.

“She got rejected twelve times.  I still had hope after fifty,” I argue.  “They said they’re looking for fresh, new ideas, yet every shelf of a bookstore nowadays has a sparkly vampire face staring back at you.”

He nods in sympathy, though I can tell he has no idea what I’m talking about.

“I just don’t get it.  I get good reviews; everyone says my writing is great.  I have the key components in my books: super-hot guy, strong woman.  This next book even has a horse!  Who doesn’t love horses?”

“I don’t really like horses,” Travis says, but I shake my head at him.

“Maybe I just need to start fresh.  A new angle.  Completely change trains.”

“What?”

I look at him frowning.  “Change trains.  It’s a saying.  You know, get off one train and go in the opposite direction for the next…”

His blank gaze makes me frown.

“Okay, just forget it.  You know, you’re not much help,” I say, putting my notebook into my purse.

“They say you should write about things you know.  You’ve never been near a horse,” he says.

“I was at summer camp once.  I broke my arm, remember?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”

“Besides, I write historical romances.  Unless you have a time travelling machine I don’t know about, it’s not like I can get any front line perspective.”

“No travelling machine, unfortunately.  Though you’d have to get in line for that one.  First thing I would do is go back and warn my younger self to steer clear of Heather Morrison,” he says and gives a fake shudder.

“Who knew the lawn of your apartment building could be that flammable?  You should have just taken her to prom.”

“She set the lawn on fire and we never even really went out.  Could you imagine what she would do during a breakup?”

I laugh.  “You have a point there.  See, this is the problem.  You have all these great stories, and I’ve got none.  Maybe that’s why my books suck.  My imagination is letting me down.”

“First of all, your books don’t suck.  They’re good− I read one,” he offers.

I raise my eyebrows in his direction.  “Which one?”

“The one without a horse,” he says, smiling.  “And secondly, you have some good stories.  Remember ‘I love you Todd’?”

I can’t help the blush of shame that comes to my face.  “That’s not worth repeating, let alone putting in print.”

Travis is already laughing.  This always happens.  “It’s the best story, though!  He said ‘I love you’ to his dog and you thought he was talking to you.”

I narrow my eyes as he tries to keep it together.  I’m never telling him anything ever again.

“You’re not helping my self-esteem right now,” I argue.

“All I’m saying is people would probably like reading about that better than some girl mooning over a guy on a horse.  Why don’t you write about something that is popular right now?  Figure out what people are into.”

“Are you trying to say people aren’t into historical romances?” I ask.  “Because I’ll have you know it is an extremely popular genre.”

“I’m just suggesting that perhaps you should try to go for something new and exciting,” he suggests.  “Maybe write about something you know, something that has happened to you personally.”

Alright, that is decent advice.  Except the highlight of my love life has been Todd, and when you lose out to a Pomeranian it’s not really something you want to share with the world.

“Listen, I’ve got to get back to work, but I’ll see you tomorrow?” he asks.

“Hmm,” I nod, non-committedly.

“Are you working at the comic book store this week?” he asks, tucking his chair under the table.

I work at the world’s smallest comic book store in the Bloor West village.  It’s the only job that was even remotely close to a career in publishing, and they offer dental benefits.  Well, kind of.  The owner, Mr. Sharp, has a son who is a dentist, so I get a free toothbrush and toothpaste once a month.  It sounds stupid but I look forward to that new toothbrush more than I should.

“All day, every day,” I nod.  “I have to pay for that shoe box apartment somehow.”

“I’ll stop by with a hot chocolate; I’m working just down the street from there,” he says.

“Add a cookie to that order and I will consider opening the door,” I smile.

“And don’t go too crazy with the party, okay?  Your mom will never forgive me if any of her new windows get broken.”

Travis kisses the top of my head and makes his way out of the coffee shop.

Write what I know, eh?

Well, I could do a short story on magicians.

 

Butt In Chair

Checking Inn’s blog tour is over *sob*.  Oh what to do with myself now?

I guess writing and editing might be a good idea!  I am in the process of working with my editor right now on my third book which is due out at the end of June.  It’s funny because I always think of my books as my second set of children.  And although they don’t make quite as much mess as my two little rascals, and they don’t have those goo-goo eyes that make me melt in my boots, there are a lot of similarities between the two.  Every child is different, just like every book is different (and I’m not just talking about plot/covers).  When I was writing White Lies I took my time, I wrote over the course of a year and just picked it up when I felt the “inspiration”.  With Checking Inn I whipped through the writing process, editing process and even cover design (well, the cover took me about two weeks to pick but for me this is lightning speed!) because the inspiration never left.  It was almost like the book was just waiting in my fingertips and all I had to do was drum on my keyboard to let it flow out.  My third book is kicking my butt.  Maybe because I have the distraction of my other two novels or maybe I just need to get outside (it has been a beyond cold Canadian winter and I’m at my wits end with it!).  Either way, I am dragging my feet a little with this novel, which is very unlike me.  I pride myself in being a little over achiever.  It’s who I am.  Sometimes I put little gold stars on my chapters after they’ve been edited and polished.  It’s my secret shame.

I don’t believe in writer’s block though.  I believe sometimes you will write stuff that’s not exactly great… alright some stuff I write and after I read it back I think “what was I talking about?”.  But the point is, if you wait for something to happen to you, you will be waiting a long time.  So, I sit my butt in the chair and get the job done.  And sometimes I even surprise myself with a “Hey, that’s not half bad!” on one of those off days.  So today I have made a pact with myself, and I guess you now because you will know if I renege on this 😉 that I will sit my butt in the chair and get through these corrections for book three.  I’ll have to build myself up to the cover though as we all know picking a cover sends me right over the edge!

The Bestseller List

I woke up this morning and White Lies is on the Romantic Comedy, Romance and Women’s Fiction bestsellers lists on Amazon.  After I picked my jaw up from the floor I ran to my computer to make this post.

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who is purchasing and writing great reviews for White Lies, I couldn’t do this without you!

Secondly, never in a million years when I published White Lies a few months ago did I think this was a possibility.  Did I dream about it?  Of course… and maybe a little of that dreaming motivated me to push the book further than I would have.  But did I think it was an actuality?  Probably not.  Not because I don’t think it is a hilarious, solid written book (here I shamelessly pat myself on the back- seriously it took me four years to write… I feel this vanity isn’t terrible, though have no fear I am watching it carefully), but because I literally know NO ONE in the publishing industry.  Everything I learned I learned on Google (God bless that search engine and all it spews out).

Thirdly, I feel a little silly for admitting this now but I was extremely nervous I was going to get eaten alive in the publishing industry.  Because I don’t know anyone in the publishing industry I literally had no idea what the public’s reaction was going to be.  Every time I see a review and they aren’t throwing stones and hurling insults I literally feel a small weight being lifted from my chest.  We are our worst critic (hence why we don’t have to hide the mirrors around here anytime soon).

Now let’s all take a minute and stroke our computer screens as we adoringly look upon the pictures I took of my computer screen from every angle.

White Lies- Women's Fiction BestsellerWhite Lies Romance BestsellerWhite Lies Romantic Comedy BestsellerWhite Lies Ranking

So what’s next?  My Checking Inn tour is starting next week, and I have no clue why but I am both excited and terrified at the same time.  I haven’t got many reviews back for it yet, and over the next two weeks some lovely book reviewers are going to be telling me just what they think of my second book.  Hopefully the sales of White Lies will encourage the sales on Checking Inn for the promotion period, one can dream.  And I have learned today that dreaming is not such a bad thing.