Somehting to think about . . .

Hunger and the fear of failure . . . when you hit the wall, the only way left is up.

~Lorelei Bell

Saturday, December 31, 2011




Sunday, December 18, 2011

Looking Back... Looking Forward

I keep a journal--have bins filled with them--and once in a while I do like to look back to see where I've been, and how things have progressed. It's to help me see how I was, back, say five or ten years ago. It helps ground myself so that I'm not getting myself crazy about how I want things to go along more swiftly and be more successful than I am.

In 2007 I was getting small things published in a small quarterly called "Weeds Corner". Ruth Brookshire was the editor and owner of the little magazine out of Indiana. She accepted my very first poem which saw the light of printing ink. After that, she accepted everything I sent her, and I was paid a few dollars for it. It wasn't much, but my words were getting out there and being read.

I was working on my (eventually self-published), book Spell of the Black Unicorn. I didn't know what I would do with it, since I was getting rejection letters from everyone I sent it out to. I did what I swore I would not do. I self-published it. I didn't want to do this, but I had turned 50 and by God or high water I was going to damn well have a book published before I got too old to enjoy the thrill of doing so. I found a relatively cheep deal for this and I had to do all the formatting, but they were very helpful. I chose to go with Infinity Publishers. I payed my $400. and within a few short months I had a solid paperback book with my own designed cover and my own words inside and out. I sold a few dozen copies, had two book signings and had a ball. I still have about a dozen copies left in a box...

And here I am, 2011, my second in the series vampire novel is out now. I'm not exactly rolling in dough. Not rolling very much, actually, but it takes time to get the word out to people who don't know about your book. Promoting a book is not easy. Especially when you have no money to help things along the way. But, at least I didn't have to self-publish these last two books. And I'm not saying I may not ever try to do something in Smashwords, or some such. I'm just saying right now I'm okay with doing things this way.

The thing about getting the second book out is that you've made contacts with people on the first book, and now--because they loved the first one--they are willing to help promote it on their sites and with their efforts and so forth, other people eventually learn about both. It's like a tiny snowball, rolling down a hill. I think.

And I've also published an older short story--which never saw printers ink back about 9-10 years ago when I tried to get it into the pages of a magazine. But I re-wrote it and it was taken and now it is out there with a bunch of other writer's works.

I'm now working on a novella, and hope to get it written by spring and see if I can't send it to the same publishers (Dark Moon), as they take the shorter works. They only take horror fiction.

After that I hope to get the third book in the Sabrina Strong Series into the capable hands of my editor at Copperhill Media, and meanwhile I hope to begin a mystery series. I don't want to lean on just the one sort of genre. I'd like to stretch my writing abilities. I know I have a couple of stories in me and they have to be told in their specific genre.

I write this with the realization that only a few short years ago I had no book published, and now I have 3. I have to pat myself on the back, but I also have to kick myself and work on those things I hope to publish next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

First book in the Sabrina Strong Series

Second book in the Sabrina Strong Series--soon to be released!
This blog was started by me early in 2010, and it was before I knew I was going to get Vampire Ascending published. I had tried with one publisher, but the editor seemed to be wanting to push a romance angle. I didn't write the book as a romance. Fortunately, I had another publisher who was interested in my book, and I had to wait until I was finished wrangling with the first publisher, before I could go with Copperhill Media.

Well, here I am, another year is nearly gone by. I'm about to get the second book in the series out and I'm being told this book is even better. I'm encouraged by this, because I felt it was my best work. I'm hopeful that once I get this thing out there you--readers/fans--will have read the first book, Vampire Ascending, because you'll want to start with the first book, as the second one follows it close behind, and lots of things happen and you really don't want to miss any of it.

For those of you who don't know, I've struggled with sending my book manuscripts out for years. More than three decades have passed since I've begun writing. And I was never able to get even a toe into a door. I was so desperate that I self-published my first fantasy book, "Spell of the Black Unicorn", as I felt that this would be my only way to see anything of mine in print. It wasn't something I wanted to do, at first, but after getting rejections for it, time and time again, and seeing that many authors were being admitted into this exclusive club, plus I had turned 50, all weighted in on my decision.
Spell of the Black Unicorn, my self-published light fantasy
I even did the front cover, since I am an artist as well. I thought it came out rather nicely. My aim was to make it look whimsical. It is a light fantasy for adults. If you are interested you might check it out at Amazon. Both books can be found there. Also, you may click the covers on the right side of my post to go to either book's site.

Anyway, I'm looking back on a year that had some excitement in it, and I've made lots of friends here on the blogs and I'm still learning things. I'm attempting to get my name/works out into anthologies. I'm hoping to gain new readers, of course.

It all takes time, and I get a little frustrated at how much work it is and I feel it's still too much of an up-hill battle.

But I have to remind myself where I was two years ago. I've got a second book in a series coming out. I hope to work on a new mystery series, as my next two books for the Sabrina Strong series are written. They are nearly finished, and I just feel that I need to do something different.

I'd also like to try to get a faster Internet and try my hand at placing a few works as an Indie. But, again, I'm thinking too far ahead. I feel like a racehorse waiting for the gate to kick open. I want to go!

Well, thanks for stopping in on my little chat. I hope it wasn't too boring. I simply wanted to look back and think about how far I've come, and remind many of you that you can get published, somehow, now. Back in the day, there was no such thing as Smashwords or other ways of getting your books published other than going through the grueling task of contacting an agent and waiting forever for a rejection letter. I'm done with those. I know of a couple of people who were going that route and now have self-published, because they want control over their work. It's a thought, isn't it?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Writing In The Crosshairs: MARK TWAIN DOES BATTLE WITH NaNoWriMo!

Writing In The Crosshairs: MARK TWAIN DOES BATTLE WITH NaNoWriMo!: Children, I just passed old Hemingway. He was cussing up a storm. I asked why. He told me of NaNoWriMo or NoNoNanettes as he called it. ...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm Still Here

I've got so many blogs, it's a little difficult to keep up. But hey, I'm here now, and for those of you who do not check out my other blogs, this is the cover for my new book about to come out.

I know. Creepy. Right?

My publisher tells me that they are going to send me the edits this week. Hope so. I so want to get things going here. I've already been contacting other blogs for host spots. And if you follow Lorelei's Muse, you'll be better able to learn when these events/interviews take place and might be able to win a book.

And on Tuesdays at Lorelei's Muse, I have been putting up "Teaser Tuesdays" portions of the book, to give you little tastes of what you can find inside.

As I write this today, I've been getting caught up on my blogger buds, and I've been working on the third book, as well as a short story. The short story I've taken a scene from my third book and written a short story and hope to send it off soon to (also hopefully) be published. I have not tried to publish anything short in a long while. And definitely have not had anything that would fit the bill (these places are often themed), and so I never considered it. But we shall see if I can find publication in an ezine.

Now that Halloween is over with, and a lot of people out there are doing the NaNo thing, I've got a relaxing time to concentrate on what I need to. Soon, it will be the edits. As soon as these are done, the eBook will come out shortly there after. It might be a spell before the paperback is out as well.

Last year at about this time, the first book was about to come out. Vampire Ascending arrived on Dec.3rd. I was so ecstatic about it. I'm equally excited about my second book. I've been told by my publisher that as good as they thought the first one was, this one is even better. But it should be. Or at least you hope as an author that you've become a better writer and each book does become a little better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!: I'm very excited about the Coffin Hop! It's the first blog hop I have ever been a part of. A bunch of horror fiction writers are particip...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: Interview with Heather McCorkle, Author of Secrets...

Lorelei's Muse: Interview with Heather McCorkle, Author of Secrets...:  Heather McCorkle  Heather and I met on Author Nation blogsite, and we sort of meandered away and I followed Heather here t...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sabrina and Vasyl answer the UNDERWEAR CHALLENGE!

The vampire appeared in my dining room, looking like something out of a virgin girl's dream. Long wavy black hair draped down his bare shoulders, down past the band of his tight, faded bluejeans. Large violet eyes going half lidded, he breathed, “Mon cher,”

Of course he startled me. “Vasyl!” I put a hand to my chest. I hadn't expected him to pop in tonight. “Leave it to you to scare the pee out of me!”

Pardon, mon cherie, but I whished to visit.”

I rolled my eyes. “Okay. I just wish you'd come to the front door like everyone else.”


It's polite.”

Very well, from now on I shall rap on the front door.” He paused to study me as I looked over a sheet of paper.

What are you doing, Cherie? What is that you have there?”

It appears to be a questionnaire,” I said frowning at the page.

What is it for?”

Lorelei sent it to me to answer for her blog.”

Who is this Lorelei, and what is a blog?” He sounded half-way peeved that something would take attention off of him.

Lorelei is the woman who writes about my adventures—or mis-adventures—and a blog is something she writes on the Internet.”

I do not know this Internet.” He gave the French shrug.

That's right you shun the modern world. Anyway, I have to answer these questions. They look hard.”

Ah. I shall help you, no?”

You want to help?” I gave him a look as he moved closer to me. As he did the rich aroma of earth and horse blankets and straw distracted me.

Oui.” He moved in closer, looking over my left shoulder a strand of his black hair snaked over my neck. His hair was possibly possessive as well.

Well, okay, if you want.”

What is the first question there?”

    What do you call your underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?

Vasyl straightened and looked puzzled. “You have to name undergarments?”

It's for fun.”

But they already have a name.”



I think they're looking for a common name. Like a person's name.”

Ah. Then do you have a name for them?”


Let us call them Debbie,” he said.

Debbie?” I looked back at him. “You mean, as a thousand year-old Frenchman, you could be that blasé?

He shrugged. “I like the name Debbie for your undergarments.”


That was simple. What is this next question?”

Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in only your underwear?

Vasyl straightened. “I do not dream. Usually. And when I do, mon cher it is only of you.”

I snorted. “Yeah right.” I looked at the paper in my hands. “I'm going to go with no. I may have had visions while in a crowded place, but I had clothes on. So, I don't think it counts”

I agree. Next question.”

What is the worst thing you can think of to make underwear out of?

Wool,” he said.

I agree. That was simple.”

If you were a pair of panties what color would you be?

Vasyl threw back his head and laughed. “These are silly questions cherie!”

I'm going to go with white.”

No-no-no! Black. If you were undergarment I would want you to be black silk.”

Oo-la-la,” I sang. His hands slid up my arms. He pulled me close, my back against his bare chest. This was actually the vampire feeding pose. With any other vampire, I would have been under his thrall, by now, except for one thing--I wore the mystic ring, which prevents vampire thrall completely. But also, Vasyl did not feed from me. He had sworn human blood off centuries ago. I'm not at liberty to tell you what animal blood he feeds on almost exclusively.

And I have yet to see your undergarments--please tell me you will wear only black and that they are silk,” he said low in my ear.

Vasyl!” I turned my head to look at him, unable to help a silly smile. “You'll just have to wait to see,”

It makes me tingle with anticipation to see your Debies.”

I think we'd better continue with these or we'll never finish,” I said.

Have you ever thrown your underwear at a rock star or celebrity? If so, which ones? If not, which ones?

I do not understand,” Vasyl said. “What is rock star?”

Uh, they play music. Rock and roll, or other kinds of music. They play on a stage. Sometimes women throw underwear at the stage.”

Why? Do they need underwear?”

No, silly, they throw them their underwear.”

Ah. Then it is to suggest they want to—” he made a suggestive noise in the back of his throat and encircled me with his arms. “This is giving me ideas, mon cher. Let me take you into the bed room, I will lick my bite, as you like that so much.” Vasyl had bitten me when I was young and any time he licked his bite it gave me a powerful orgasm.

I squealed with delight as he kissed along my neck. “Wait,” I panted, turned and pressed my hand to his creamy chest. My eyes fell to the black hair that arrowed down to the waistband. I pinched the hair between my fingers. “We have a few more questions to do.”

They can wait.” He pulled me close and kissed me. My knees went first, and then my stomach did flip-flops. He may not be able to thrall me, vampire-wise, but man-wise it was no contest.

There's only a few more. . .” I spoke through our kisses.

Hurry then.”

You're out of underwear, what do you do?

“Oh, bien.”

I chuckled. “Since you don't wear shoes or socks, you probably don't wear underwear.”

Why should I?”

Of course.”

Are you old enough to remember Underoos? If so, did you have any? Which ones?

I am old enough to remember the Bubonic Plague. And nearly all of the churches of Europe were built in my time as a human and then a vampire.”

“Right. Next question.”

If you could have any message printed on your underwear,what would it be?

These questions are silly.”

Play along—what are you doing?”

Kissing your palm.” His lips trailed up my inner wrist, working toward his bite.

I yanked my hand out of his and gave him a stern look.


We're not done yet!”

I have told you, these are silly questions.”

Nevertheless I have to answer them!”

When you are through, then we shall retire to the bedroom.”

I licked my lips. “Okay!”

How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat?

What are these people?Greek? Who would put panties on a goat?”

I think it's a joke.”

This whole questionnaire is a joke! But I'm not joking when I tell you I need to address this question of what color your underwear is.” He lifted me up into his arms and I squelched a screech. The paper with the questions went fluttering to the floor.

Wait! We have to pass this on to a couple of people!

Let's pass this on to the men:

Roland Yeomans of Writing In The Crosshairs
James Garcia Jr. of Dancing On Fire

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Lorelei's Muse: LORELEI'S BIRTHDAY BASH & GIVE AWAY!!!!: Hello! You made it! Welcome! Join us in the celebration! Here's a party hat and we're about to cut the cake. Mingle and make yourself comfor...

Friday, August 26, 2011


Lorelei's Muse: GIVE AWAY ANNOUNCEMENT!: Okay, so this girl is turning a year older, and I decided I would have a little party for those of you who follow, and/or are fans of my vam...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: A BOOK GIVE AWAY!

Lorelei's Muse: A BOOK GIVE AWAY!: "I usually do Hunks Thursday, but I've something more important to do today. My friend Heather McCorkle is having a fantastic give away!!! ..."

Lorelei's Muse: A BOOK GIVE AWAY!

Lorelei's Muse: A BOOK GIVE AWAY!: "I usually do Hunks Thursday, but I've something more important to do today. My friend Heather McCorkle is having a fantastic give away!!! ..."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pivotal Moment

Pivotal moments come in our fictional stories, but they also come in our real life.

Upon looking back a year ago, I see that I had yet to have my first vampire book published. But I was trying to get it published with an eBook publisher. I simply wasn't getting anywhere with them (I'll not name them, as other people have gone on to publish with them). I think my book wasn't quite right for them, but the editor simply wouldn't tell me. She kept stringing me along, for some reason, all summer long. I asked one more time if she wanted to see the rest of the book. After waiting five weeks and never heard back from her I gave up. Discouraged, but not quite down, I decided to go with Copperhill Media, who'd shown interest in my first chapter. I don't think I could have made a better choice.

Now, with Vampire Ascending out, and the eBook doing really well, and my second book to be released in late Summer, I'm trying to appreciate where I've come from. A lot of well-known novelists don't do this. Those who have made a lot of money not only on their books--as they were published with the big-name publishers--but have had movies made of their books, seem to not be very happy with where they are, as though they're owed much more. I've seen too many interviews with authors who became too large too quickly, and don't think they've really "made it", and are "unavailable". (Of course there are a rare few who are not big-headed.) On the contrast, I've been able to contact other authors, and they've friended me on facebook.

I won't ever become big-headed. I've been struggling far too long to snub friends, followers and fans to do that. I'm not sure if I'll ever enjoy a six-figure check derived from book sales or maybe a movie deal, but I'll gladly take whatever may come. I'm told, or reminded, by my husband I deserve much more. Well, don't most of us, really? Suffering is part of the artist's life. The term "starving artist" isn't just a funny term.

Actually having people enjoying my book all over America, and maybe even the world (my blog, Lorelei's Muse is visited by more than 50 countries, and I seem to be pretty popular with Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia and Germany), is a big treat for me. It is because I've never had the privilege of such potential readers, fans or just the curious want to check out what I post here, or whatever I've published.

My first book which I self-published, Spell of the Black Unicorn, has suffered sales since the first year. Possibly because it's only in book form, is why, and I've had no idea of how to promote it. It is a fantasy tale I wanted to write, and spent five years doing so. I have a sequel to it, but I'm not willing to go the self-publishing route again. I did so because--again--I could get no where with agents. I'll just wait and see what happens with my vampire novels.

So, the pivotal moment is now, I'd say, with my second in a series about to come out, Vampire's Trill picks up where Vampire Ascending leaves off, in the continuous story of my Touch Clairvoyant, Sabrina Strong. To have several people contact me via facebook who have read Vampire Ascending and tell me how much they loved it, and want to read the second book is, to me, the best ride so far I've ever had. I'm just happy to be able to say it will be coming out soon.

Meanwhile, I work on the third book.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May's Notations

This month is slipping by. I'm on last pass through of my second book Vampire's Trill, and have been very busy on this. I'm about mid-way, I think. So, I've been busy working on it this month to hopefully have it out at some point this summer for all you people who are reading or have read (or want to read), the first book Vampire Ascending, and need the second one.

I don't mean to be amazed at myself, or where I'm at, but I am. I guess I should be, though, considering how long it took me to get to this place with my writing. This blog was set up as my spot to give a look back at where I've come from.

Oh, the bird in the tree is called a Scarlet Tanager. It has a bright red-orange body, sooty black wings and tail and it has an oriole-type song. I've yet to see one this spring, but my husband has seen it. But he works in the park and so it figures he sees one of the more rarer visitors to our neck of the woods.

I'm also working--partially--on the third book. I've gotten about half way done first draft. I want to finish my second book so that I can work on it this summer. I know what I want to write, I've just have had so little time to work on it. There is a complicated climax scene that I have to figure out and until I get this second one sent off to my wonderful publisher, I'm not going to have time to work on it in a continuous way.

We are also having our kitchen renovated. It's in its last stages. But we are itching to move completely back into the room with the table, chairs, refrigerator, and get curtains up and so forth--get the men out of the house! My husband has been having his lunch outside these past weeks (he says this is #7 week), because of all the hoopla that's going on.

They are to replace a couple of doors, steps and a few other things as well. We just want the kitchen to be done this coming week. It would give a feel of accomplishment. This was something we asked the forest preserve to do several years ago. If I had not written a letter to the superintendent, I know this wouldn't have happened. Finally, I forced the issue and got the ball rolling. Going to the top doesn't hurt. Especially since we've been here--going on--our 17th year.

So, this is where I'm at for now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's May!

Raining this morning, but I think it's lifting off for now. Spring flowers are in full blossom, and many of the birds are back. My husband has become quite the birdwatcher, and watches them from the kitchen window. I'm called once in a while to identify one. He usually knows, but has to have my expert eye.

Meanwhile I'm trying to get my second book finished, Vampire's Trill. A lot of thought and work has gone into this one. I have been going through it several times to make sure I have not repeated myself--which is hard to do with a fresh eye every time, but I think I've caught a number of repeated phrases. Its hard to do a series and not explain, briefly, some of the things that came in first book, because you want your readers to remember things from that first one. But I don't like to brow-beat, and I'm not going to start out explaining who Sabrina is. If you don't know who she is, then you'd better go get the first book and read it first. Right?

Spring semester is nearly done--thank goddess!--at NIU. And usually I don't mind the summer's slower pace, but I still have to drive. My husband wishes I could just be home and write (and take walks to trim down), and just be at home doing my thing. Says he has not given up hope that something might come through. He's quite the believer.

I am also lining up more appearances--of my first book Vampire Ascending. Anyone trekking over here from time to time might want to pay attention, and get on over to Lorelei's Muse because I am going to be on another blog this coming Monday, and will announce it both on Sunday as to where, and on Monday I will give the link to it at Muse.

If you are a Muse reader, you know I affectionately call those of you who come over there my "lurkers and stalkers", and I need you to continue to lurk and stalk because you are what makes my world rock. I also must tell you, since you are reading this at this blog, that I have been writing for over 30, and had always thought back when that it wouldn't be long before I'd be published. Little did I know it would take this long, and that it would be such a bumpy, unkind road. But I've finally made it. I did not give up. I wanted to a hundred times. I tried getting myself a publisher (first back when you could approach publishers), and then I tried agents. Whatever the reason, I wasn't their cup of tea.

But, I learned eventually, that you--the readers--are the ones I have to care about. Not "them". You are the ones who put down the $$ for books to read books, and you are the ones who have convinced me that, yes, I am good enough. My readers have spoken. Shelly's Novice Writings made a review on Vampire Ascending, and she did a great job. The only other place I would recommend to those of you unconvinced, other than the places I've been to to promote the book is the book's own website Here.

And I've been placing certain hints here and there at Muse as well as Copperhill Media's own website FrogenYozert, if you want to investigate some of the background I'm working on for the next book, which I hope to be done with soon so that I can sent it out and it might make a summer publication, if I work a little harder this week to finish. I hope. That's why I'm not blogging as much now, since all this really takes up my time. I can't visit other bloggers' as much as I'd like either.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Been A While

Spring is trying to spring around here. But it has been windy, rainy and cooler than normal in my neck of the woods.

I'm not looking forward to summer, but I'd sure like a little bit of spring before the heat comes in.

Every once in a while I get a wonderful surprise. I'll get a nice review in a local paper, I'll go to Amazon and see that someone has bought a book or an eBook. That's always a wonderful thing to see.

This week was a new one that I didn't even expect. It came from my publisher, Copperhill Media, who made a special web page for my book Vampire Ascending. I've changed the link that anyone can reach when they click on the book's cover over on my side bar. I was staggered by this, when my publisher sent me the email and said I should go look this over. Wow! I thought it was fabulous.

I then learned that my publisher would take my second book, because the first one was doing so well. That's a load off my mind. He told me it wouldn't be available until summer. I said I didn't care, as long as those who read the first one and have been hounding me for the second one I can now tell them for sure that it will be out some time this summer.

Presently I'm nearly done tweaking the second book. The title is Vampire's Trill, and I have some teasing posts from this book over at Lorelei's Archives, if you'd like to check those out.

I've also been working on the third one, and as if that weren't enough I've got some dialogue for the 4th one but undecided as to where this one will go, but that will come to me in time.

In the mean time, however, I am still promoting my first book. Next month I will be having another give away and will be hosted on Patricia's Vampire Notes blog. This is on May 9th.

So, those of you who missed the opportunity to either buy or win a book, here you go. Be sure to keep posted over on Lorelei's Muse for when it is up. I will be home that day to bring you the actual link when I know it.

Now I must go back to work. Tah!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Thoughts on Popularity ~ In The Real World

Once your book is out there, it becomes very apparent that you have to work just as hard, maybe even harder, to get people to notice and buy it. Being shy, or not being aggressive will not help sales at all. Plus, you need to become a little creative in the finding places to get the word out.

In my case my job almost gives me the best of both worlds. I work driving a bus for a college campus. Thus I've got a lot of riders who get to know me (or they see me) 5 days a week and 7 hours a day. Every college has a paper, and NIU is no different. The Northern Star is sent all over the country, and has won several awards over the years. Thus, getting myself in this paper has taken both savvy, and guts to approach people who I know will get a story about my book into this paper.

Tony Martin is a columnist for Northern Star, and he rides my bus. Can you believe I could have such a deal? It's like kismet! His column is featured more than once a week. He reviews bands, music, and such mainly. But when I approached him about my vampire book, he was a bit hesitant. I knew he was. He probably thought it was another copy-cat of the Twilight series. So, when I told him about it, and I sort of pressed him into reading it, I felt I'd done everything I could in the name of getting the book noticed. I have no idea how many vampire fans there could be in a campus this size, but I figured it might be one in maybe 50. I don't really know.

This week Tony's review on my book came out. He gave it a 4 1/2 out of 5 rating. That's pretty good. It's good, considering that he is an English major. He was happy to see that my book, Vampire Ascending is not anything like Twilight. He said it was "a breath of fresh air in a genre that will, at its apex, be remembered for birthing some sparkly British super model vampires who wants to save it for marriage . . ." He called my work more of a "gritty, violent, dark and sexual world of Anne Rice's vampires. . . " He liked that I was able to create a female protag that caught him by surprise when he decided he liked her. Sabrina Strong had real problems, and tried to deal with them, and only got in deeper and deeper. He also like that my story had vampires existing in "our reality, instead of some hypothetical alternate universe".

There was a good reason for this. I didn't want to do a lot of back story. You get bogged down in that, as a reader, as well as a writer. But, it's a tough sell, as I told a young lady who had seen the article and started up a conversation about it while riding my bus the day the article came out.

Today, a day after the article came out, another young lady came on my bus saying "You've been keeping a secret!" she said, her cute dimples showing. I knew she meant that I'd kept it hidden that I was a writer. Well, you don't stop the bus and make the announcement, do you? But it's difficult to get the word out. I should wear a sign saying I have a book out there, maybe, as someone else suggested. One of those bill board things you wear. Yeah, that's a great idea. I also thought of chalking sidewalks, but my knees aren't what they used to be in my twenties.

Back to the lady with dimples. "I knew you were different, I just didn't know in what way." I had to laugh. I'm not sure if she meant the way I tried not to "look" like a bus driver, I try to wear suit coats once in a while, and just look nice. Author-ly, you might say.

Her name was Nicole, I found out, and she had been riding my bus for a few years, but I hadn't seen her in months. She is what I want to call an "absolute fan". She came up to me, began the conversation, and said she was interested in the book, and everything about it, so I gave her a book mark which gave places where to find the book, and I even jotted down my main blog. When I get people like this who don't have to be convinced to buy the book, that's what I call a fan. I want to hug them all.

Popularity with fans is more what I'm after. If I'm able to convince an English major who is more into zombies than vampires, that my book was worth his while, then, yeah. This is the fruit of my labor of throwing myself out there, getting the book noticed, and taking a chance that people will eventually find out about it. This is where my time and effort must go toward more now than trying to see how many new followers I can grab. My main blog, Lorelei's Muse is seen all over the world. Russia, Germany, Israel, Australia, Canada, Japan, Denmark. . .51 countries--some which I don't even know where they are. And when I begin seeing sales on Amazon--as I can track them--I know that somehow people are coming to find a new vampire book with grit, spice and things that some of those YA versions just don't have.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Popularity: What It Means For A Writer

When I remember my childhood, even as I grew up and got through high school, the whole idea of being "popular" was not high on my list. Did I have friends? Sure. Do I have friends now? Of course. Do I get invitations from said friends? Not often. Do I get phone calls from them, birthday cards or emails out of the blue? Not really. But then, I don't send cards out, unless it's a thank you, call them, or email them too much either.

Does this bother me? Not really.

It used to. I've become used to the idea that people like me for who I am, and it doesn't go beyond that. If I need something from someone, like a ride home, or even a dollar, for whatever the reason, I know that someone would gladly give it to me, and they want nothing back in return. They simply are the types of people who would do something nice for me. I seem to have some great friends.

Am I popular? I really don't know if "popular" would be the word. I have come to realize that people at work know who I am before I even know their name (there's a big turn-around rate at the bus company, being that every few years the college students who work there graduate and leave, and a new crop come in). I'm a likable person.

Now, let's take a look at popularity in the virtual world.

Yesterday I was at the Writer's Digest site and I caught a discussion on how to get readers to your site. The operative word is READERS. Not just other writers. How does one do this? Well, first, I guess you have to get yourself a book, or something published in order to bring them to your blog. That blog has to be advertised someplace, of course. But also, you still have to get the notice of readers who want to stop by your blog, so you have to have some knowledge of what SEO's will work.

Now, granted, I'm not certain how this is done. Seems I learn something new all the time about blogging. Every blog I follow is posted by another writer. Well, almost nearly. There seems to be a trend now with a lot of "blog hopping", oh, and posting something every dang day! The whole idea behind it is to get other "writers" to your blog. Other writer friends are wonderful, don't get me wrong. We need our writer buds, we like feedback, we need their support. But at what point is this blog hopping too much? I think I've seen where a lot of writers who hold down jobs and have families, etc. & simply can't keep up this sort of blogging day to day. When do you say to yourself "I can't keep up with all this?" You almost have to, or you'll drive yourself to the nut farm, your husband (or wife), will threaten divorce, and your children will go unfed. Just joking, but I happen to know you can not have it all. You can not burn the candle at both ends and expect to survive, simply because you are trying to become "popular" get more followers, and so forth. You have to realize that type of popularity is okay, but will it get you actual "readers"?

I've simply no time to blog hop, or jump every time there is some sort of contest, or challenge in the blogging world. You have to leave comments, and then visit all the other blogs/links on a post of everyone who is doing this, and then go back to your blog and post something about it with all the other blogs links and so forth--when would I have time to do actual work on what I want to do?

Slow modem aside, this would take me hours of time to invest. I do not have time for this. And I had to question the reason behind it all. Is it some sort of contest to get a lot of followers? To become "popular" like it was in high school? I'm not really sure. The real question is boils down to this: is popularity of this sort going to help me down the road? Will it pull in people who will buy my book? I'm not really sure. Maybe a few writers will buy and read it. I do know some who have bought my book, and I surely thank them for doing so. But what will hours a day spending it at every blog I follow do for the sales of my book? Maybe absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, my own writing suffers. Plus I work full-time to bring in money to pay the bills. When would I have time? Sure, possibly for some of you this is considered fun. But if you are a writer, you need to work on your writing.

The Writer's Digest discussion about what type of followers you wanted: writers vs. readers had gone back and forth until one person said that there was an author of science fiction who didn't write posts directed toward other writers, and wrote on various things that his readers would want to read about. Like things in the news, politics, and so forth. He's pretty popular, and I saw his blog. He simply has the knack for writing about things that make people--his readers--who want to read whatever he has to say about news, religion, politics and other everyday things. This works for him mainly because he cares about such things. Plus, obviously he has time to post blogs--sometimes twice in a day!

What works for one writer, might not work for another. Besides, keeping up with all the news in the world, or even around the country is neither in my interest, or something I can do. I simply don't have time to do this. Plus, I don't just have one blog to keep up, I have several. I have this one, Something Nebulous Within, which is aimed at other writers out there who are just starting out and need encouragement, and maybe keep them aware of certain new trends--when I know about them, and can post about them, of course. Here at Nebulous, I've also posted from my journal from years ago, allowing you all to see where I was at one time, and that basically, we've all been wannabe authors.

I've just recently re-vamped (sorry), my other blog and renamed it Vampire Writer's Retreat. Here I will try and only post on things pertaining to vampires, whatever it might be.

At Lorelei's Muse, since this is my official author's site, I will post there more often, and about whatever interests me.

The fourth blog is called Lorelei's Archives, where I post only my writings--either from my books--ones which are published, and the ones I'm working on--and other things that I've written. I may post a portion of a chapter over at Muse, but I'll have the remainder over at Archives. I don't often post my poems, unless they've been published, and even those I don't like to share too often.

So, this is where I am at this point. I've been blogging for about 3 years now. You will not find me blog-hopping. I might visit a few blogs every day, but I will not keep up a hectic pace, and I refuse to bend over backwards to receive any "awards" to post on my side bar, so please understand this, I do not have time to do the dance. You either like me for who I am, or you don't. If you want to follow me, wonderful! I'd love to have you along. I will come by your blog, if you have one, and especially if you stop and make a comment. If you're a "reader", stop in on face book. I have a face book fan page for my book, Vampire Ascending. I love comments at my posts, whichever blog you like to follow.

So, have you ever thought about this? Are you in a quadry as to what is important to you? Do you really need 50 more followers, after sitting at your computer all day working on pinging back to other blogs, you have to ask yourself if it's all worth the effort and what you want to accomplish with your own writing. I've made my decision based on realistic values, my time, efforts and what I want to accomplish. It doesn't concern me much if I tick someone off because I didn't work my butt off to "earn"an award. I won't do that. I either earn an award because of what I've already done, or I'll refuse it. My time is mine to use as I wish and popularity contests are not my bag.