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I was reading an article the other day about a woman who got married in her twenties and then got divorced in her thirties. She was saying that a couple years in she realized she was unhappy, but all her friends who got married the same time seemed happy so she stuck with it. Then when one couple in the friend group got divorced it was like a domino effect. A whole bunch of the group all got divorced within two years. That one couple who first divorced allowed the other couples to finally talk about how unhappy they were. Her conclusion at the end of the article was that she married the man she thought she should marry, not the man she needed. I thought that was a really interesting observation.
I know when I was single my friends and I would talk about “the list” we had of things we wanted in a potential partner. Each friend’s list was very specific—the person had to be this tall, have this color of eyes, have this certain physique. Most of our lists had at least ten items on them, mostly the physical attributes, or personality traits we knew we had to have to be happy. I can tell you a few things I remember that were on my list —the dude had to be over six foot two, had to have dark hair, preferably green eyes, and had to be a few years older than I was. There were other things on the list about a sense of humor and being smart, but really there was a specific “type” I was looking for when I was dating. I dated a few dudes that perfectly matched up with my list, but I never clicked with any of them. Then I met this guy who had blond hair, was both shorter and younger than I was. The more I was around him, the more I liked him. At some point, I threw my list out. I realized how stupid those lists we made were. How much we were limiting ourselves by sticking to a specific type that we had decided we wanted. How we weren’t allowing ourselves to get to know and date the person who was actually the best match for us, the person we actually needed.
On October 14th this year Todd and I will have been married for 24 years. I can count the happily married couples I know on my fingers. We are one of those couples. I seriously dig my husband just as much as I did when I first met him. I sometimes get people asking me what is the secret to being happily married for over twenty years? My advice –throw out the list and find the partner who you need. Someone who you adore. Someone who makes you a better person just by being with them. Someone you can hang out with, and do nothing with, and still have fun. Someone who makes you laugh and makes you think. Throw out that list! Date a lot of different types of people and keep dating until you find the one you can’t live without. Just my two cents.
When I’m working on a story I get a lot of ideas for it when I first start to fall asleep. Which means often I’m popping up every five minutes and typing the ideas into my phone so I don’t lose them. If I don’t immediately write them down I’ll forget them. Last night I had an idea for a really cool twist in the story. The best part of writing is when you are working on the first draft and writing the story just to entertain yourself. That’s my favorite part of writing. Later you have to edit and worry if the story is working. Worry if the readers will like it. But during the first draft you put that all out of your head and just write for fun.
First you read the back cover. Then you get to the part where the Hero strangles the Heroine during a Dark Ritual. Happy Birthday Sydney from North Carolina!! I hope you like Awakening!
I get a lot of young readers asking about writing books as a career. They are under the impression that you can make a full-time living writing. That all of us out there writing and selling our books are making a lot of money. The harsh reality is that very few authors make enough money to write full-time. Of all my writing friends I only have two friends who write full time. The rest of my writing friends all have other jobs to help support themselves.
If you are one of the lucky few you put your books out there and they hit like lightning and you sell a zillion copies. But that only happens to a very small percentage of the people writing. The rest of us are nowhere close to making enough money to write full-time.
I spent two years writing the four books in the Dark Ritual series and then I spent 8 months doing the publishing edits on the books. So that’s 2 years and 8 months working most days on the books. On the side, I worked a part-time gig running a book review website. During that 2 years and 8 months working on the books, I made no money from the books.
How much money did my books make once they were released? In my contract, it states that I can’t talk about specifics when it comes to the publishing house business, so I can’t give you exact numbers of how much my books made, but I can tell you it’s less than you would make in a year working a part time job.
Once the books came out I spent a lot of my time and money on promoting the books. I did some Facebook ads, I did a bunch of giveaways, I went on an online book tour and schedule an online book release shout out. A few of the promotions my publishing house paid for, but the rest of it came out of my pocket.
You sometimes see Authors get cranky and write rant posts about how readers say they love their work, but they don’t buy their books. I can understand the crankiness. It’s tough when you put all your spare time into writing and yet you have readers expecting you to put out all your writing for free. It does drive you nuts since you know that those same readers if the roles were reversed, would never want to give away for free something that they put so much time and effort into. You see authors get cranky because fans expect them to write more and more, yet no one buys their work. That’s also understandable. As a writer, you can’t help, but wonder why the fans won’t support you by buying your stories if they love them so much. As a writer you know if the fans would only buy your books, and if you could sell enough copies, you could spend all your time just working away and writing.
Writing is a very tough gig. You get a lot of rejection along the way as you are submitting your work to agents and publishing houses. Once your work gets out there you get plenty of nasty reviews that make you want to take up drinking. And then you can’t help but compare yourself to those few successful authors who are making a full-time living writing and you find yourself some days wallowing and wondering why your sales aren’t so great. You find yourself ranting. You find yourself full of doubt. You find yourself freaking out, totally convinced that your writing sucks. You vow you will give up writing completely. And then you get an idea for another story or a character whispers something in your ear, and you can’t help it, you find yourself back at your laptop pounding away on a story. You write because you love it. You write because it helps keep you sane. You hope that one day you’ll make it big and you’ll be able to make a full-time living writing, but the reality is that will probably never happen.
Last chance to read Awakening on Wattpad! It’s coming down off Wattpad tomorrow (8/15) night. Get reading! https://www.wattpad.com/story/5529034-awakening-the-dark-rituals-book-1-wattpad-featured
Stop by every day and check out the cool posts by rocken Wattpad authors. There is a huge list of giveaways you can enter. My Post is schedule to go live on August 21st, so make sure to stop by and say howdy! And help us spread the word about the party! https://www.wattpad.com/story/72748267-wattpad-block-party-summer-edition-iiWattpad Block Party – Summer Edition II – Giveaway Link :http://bit.ly/2adU8gh
p.s. one of the things I’m giving away at the Wattpad block party: One grand prize winner will be picked for 30 days of writing mentoring. For 30 days Catrina will answer any questions you have about writing, she’ll pass on writing tips, and she will be available for you to bug every day for a solid month. https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/27854a79114/
The Dark Ritual Books on sale right now on Amazon! Awakening is free!
Hey guys I’m heading to the RWA writing conference in San Diego on Wed. I arranged with my publishing house to do an Amazon sale while I’m at the conference. So from today until 7/24/2016 you can get your own copy of Awakening for free on Amazon! And the other books in the series are on sale:
Awakening – Free
Possession – 99 cents
Revenant – $1.99
Legion – $2.99
That means you can get all the books in the series right now on Amazon for only $5.99. The cost of all four books for what one usually cost. That’s a crazy cool sale! And I don’t know when they will be going on sale again (probably not until next year).
So go snag your own copy of Awakening for free while you can. And if you wanted to get the other books in the series — now is your chance to snag them while they are on sale.
Sale ends 7/24/2016
And blowing kisses to everyone who has bought my books. It means more to me than you could ever know.
Over and out,