Livin’ for the deadline

Yep, it’s another early morning for me, and now that I’ve been social on most of the medias, it’s time to get cracking on Book 2’s revisions. I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with them, but it’s a matter of actually sitting down and getting from A to B. Then, once I’ve gotten the manuscript where it needs to be, it’s edit, edit, edit before I send it off for submission. RhetAskew Publishing has given me an early November deadline for submission, so I have some time but not, like, oodles. There’s a lot of life going on in those months…Abnormal‘s release, SCA events about every other weekend or more, book signing, work, more work, new certification for work…Yeah. All that and a bag of chips. Or something. I have no one to blame but myself, really….I asked my Editor-in-Chief when she’d like the manuscript, and she gave me a time frame.

The other day I had a mini major meltdown about Abnormal‘s release. That was fun (not). You see, as I’m revving up and getting ready for the release, I’m also taking a marketing workshop led by my Editor-in-Chief at RhetAskew. This workshop is pretty intense, and it’s left me feeling overwhelmed. There are things I’ve been doing that I guess are no-nos when it comes to marketing, and there are other things I haven’t done yet that are very, very important. I know that since Abnormal is the first in a series I have time to build my audience, but I was feeling an immense sense of urgency and anxiety that I’d never get all the things done before the release. Some part of my bipolar brain decided that I had to do every single workshop assignment ASAP to be ready for release date, and when I realized I was in overload I lost it. I’m talking red-faced, puffy-eyed, snot-nosed ugly crying. I was a hot mess.

I’m better about it now. I think I just needed to get it out of my system. Reached my boiling point, spilled over, and now I’m all good. Mostly…I still feel some anxiety, but nothing like the other day.

Well, guess it’s time to put the blog down and pick up my mind mapping. Gotta stay cool, calm, and collected as the countdown to Abnormal ticks down….9 days now. Single digits.

Battle royale

It’s been a while since I’ve had a legitimate bipolar breakdown, so I guess yesterday’s little panic attack was overdue. Still, it would be nice not to have to go through that at all.

2gbz61

Yeah….

So the marketing process for Abnormal combined with the marketing workshop that my publisher is running on Facebook combined with general anxiety about the projected success or failure of said book all are working together to create that perfect environment for a bipolar freak-out. Last night was the first of what I hope is a minimal number of said freak-outs.

It all started with the sudden realization that the workshop assignments were leading up to us authors identifying and contacting our top genre influencers about our works.

Wait…I have to find out who the top sci-fi/dystopian/LGBTQ bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, journalists, etc, are, then I have to write out emails asking them to read and review my book or do an interview with me, then I have to send out those same emails? Like, actually send them? To people who have thousands and thousands of followers, who probably already lead busy lives and already get gobs of junk emails with the same type of requests? But–but–but…what if I’m bothering them?

Ah, yeah, there’s that irrationality. There’s the anxiety rearing its ugly head.

Fuck you, anxiety. You ruined my evening yesterday.

Fighting with this type of anxiety is a tough one. I can always go to friends or family or to my husband or my publishers with my unfounded concerns, but I can’t always take their logical, rational advice and apply it to the very much illogical and irrational fear I’m experiencing. The irrational fear eats logic for breakfast, chews it up, and spits it out in a sloppy wet wad on the carpet. I always end up stepping square in that wad. I hate stepping on anything wet, literally or metaphorically.

Why is it so horrifying to have to send out some nice, polite emails requesting consideration for myself and my book? I don’t know. Again, it’s an irrational fear. And no, it’s not the fear of them ignoring my emails or sending rejections–it’s the fear of being a bother. A nuisance. An annoyance.

It was difficult to send email requests to some of my favorite authors asking if they’d be interested in having an Advanced Reader Copy of Abnormal to peruse and maybe write a blurb on. I was terrified of annoying them. Of being viewed as spam–even if it was potentially some random assistant who was handling that day’s particular emails. That is what had me paralyzed yesterday. It’s still got me shaken up a bit, but so far this morning no fountains of tears. So that’s progress, right?

Another stressor to add onto these imaginary stressors is the feeling that I have to get all my marketing done before the September 1 release date–which is now ten days away. Ten. Short. Days. My publisher assures me that’s not the case, that I have the entirety of the series to build upon and market to my fanbase, but the timing of the marketing workshop is not helping. Don’t get me wrong–I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have such a workshop. It’s just giving me a minor heart attack thinking about all the assignments that are being given with “just ten days” in which to complete the assignments.

Ten days…I’m almost in the single digits.

I had my freak-out. I talked with close friends, with my publisher, with my husband. I whined and moaned and misunderstood the assignments and cried and sobbed and overreacted. I did all the things except stay calm and look at it from a logical standpoint. Logically, the bloggers and vloggers and podcasters and journalists are there to build on their own fanbase, and they (theoretically) welcome the opportunity to read and review something that their fanbase might enjoy. Illogically, they’re going to view me as an overeager spammer nobody who needs to leave them alone.

I’m going to get past this. I’m going to finish this post, search for my genre’s “influencers,” and get started on a template to share in the workshop to eventually turn into emails to said influencers.

It may not be within the next ten days. But I have a whole series to get this done in.

Still, better now than never.

Off I go.

Kicking and screaming, but off I go.

Ebook envy

I’m jealous of my ebook. You see, it’s available for preorder on Amazon Kindle already, but the hardback and paperback aren’t…yet.

Yeah, I know, it’s not fair. You might want me to autograph your book, and how can I do that with an ebook? I mean, I’m not above signing a Kindle (on the back, of course, or if there’s a margin around the screen, sure–never over the words though 😉 ), but a Kindle also doesn’t come with that book smell. You know the one.

It’s only just gone live for preorder, so I know I should be patient, but when it comes to this book I’ve worked too hard to be patient. I’ll be stalking the Rhetoric Askew link all day until the other two versions are live, too, so don’t worry–I’ll let you know.

Cover reveal

Here it is, ladies and gents! The cover of Abnormal! The preorder link is going live very, very soon, at Rhetoric Askew … As soon as Amazon puts it up for preorder, that is. I’m waiting and draining my phone battery in an effort to notify people as soon as it’s active.

I’m extremely excited, and I can’t wait to get a few copies in my grubby little mitts.

I can almost taste it….

It’s cover reveal and pre-order day, and I’m going crazy waiting for the things to share. I have to be patient, though. Just be patient.

Being patient is not easy. Normally I’m quite patient, but this? This is maddening. I mean, all I’ve got to show you is this:

The worst part? Even I haven’t seen the final cover design! I’ve seen versions of it, but all I’ve seen from the final is what you see above.

I. Am. So. Anxious. Not worrying about how it’s going to turn out, but anxious to be able to share it and the pre-order link. I’ve been talking it up for days now, but I’ve just got the one image so far.

Oh well. Back to the wine tasting.

Two for the money

Yeah, yeah, I know that’s not how the saying goes… Still, it’s two days until Abnormal goes on preoder sale, so two for the money works for me. 😉

The cover reveal is in two days as well, and in sixteen days Abnormal hits bookstores and Amazon Kindle. Just a little over two weeks. I’m still going a little crazy with the waiting, but I have to remind myself that this is, like, over two and a half years in the making. Another two weeks and some change won’t kill me.

I’m not the only one who’s excited. There are friends and family members who are chomping at the bit to see the cover or read the book. I’ve already made numerous promises about autographs. It’s kinda funny how people who know you want your autograph more than people who haven’t met you. It’s like, you know me, I’ve been to your house, eaten your food, hung out with you, whatever, and now you want me to sign it? I mean, it’s cool and all. Makes me glad I have like almost 100 colored gel pens that I can bring to signings. Lol

Signings. Still none set up, but once the preorder link is live I can send the ISBN to a retail bookstore chain and see if they’re interested in having me. So far, the local bookstore isn’t panning out much. They seemed super interested, but then they kinda fell off the Facebook Messenger radar. I haven’t heard back from them in about a week, but I suppose I shouldn’t let that get me down. Sometimes Messenger doesn’t deliver notifications right away, and they could be busy with back to school stuff. I gotta be patient.

After all, there are sixteen whole days until the book’s release.

Two weeks and two days.

Less than a month of Sundays.

Three, two, one, BOOM!

A couple of days ago, I was discussing Book 2 with the Creative Director at my publisher, and she suggested outlining or breaking down the scenes to figure out where I need to add/change things. It was a good suggestion, except I suck at outlines–especially with the templates she was showing me to help. Then a little light bulb came on inside my head, and I thought “Hey, I can draw little bubbles with plot points inside them and connect them with lines, and that’ll let me visualize the scenes.” Y’know, kind of like one of those conspiracy theory-style infoboards.

Turns out this is already a thing called mind mapping, and there’s even software out there for it. Guess that light bulb was already manufactured elsewhere. Since prebuilt scene templates were already giving me a headache, I decided to go old-school and literally draw it out. I ended up with about half of the “Scribbles” section of my new planner, well, scribbled on. It’s a good thing I know my own writing.

I found places in almost every chapter where I can add onto and/or revise to make the scene(s) longer. Not necessarily fluffing the scenes, but enriching them. Adding flavor, adding depth…and yeah, I admit, adding word count. I even found a couple places where this expansion can create a couple new chapters, with better, more exciting action going on. Book 2 is going to be a little dark, but I think you’ll like it. Especially if you get to the end of Abnormal and think, “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!” 😉

Speaking of Abnormal, three days to the cover reveal and preorder going live! I’m getting really excited–and more than a little anxious–the further down the numbers on the countdown widgets on my phone get. Three days to the cover reveal/preorder. Seventeen days until Abnormal’s release date. Seventy-nine days until Tucson Comic Con. My heart’s racing a bit right now just looking at my phone.

Three days. Two and a half working days (I was off this morning, but soon I’ll be headed in to work for the afternoon). A meeting Friday morning. Then, finally, I can show the world what Abnormal will look like, and give them a link to order it.

Soon. So soon.

Revealing

Five days. Just five little days to the cover reveal for Abnormal. Five days til the preorder link goes live. Nineteen days to the book release.

Not that I’m counting down or anything.

The excitement is getting to me just a little bit. A lot. I can’t have a cover reveal party because I didn’t find out the date for the reveal until after I’d made plans for that day, but I’m hoping my husband will let me have a few friends over on the day the book releases. A few friends and some alcohol. And books. They’d better have books. Lol

Ooh, I need pens! Lots of different colors! Or Sharpies. I’ve seen authors use big, bold Sharpies to sign books. Back to school sales are still going on, right? Maybe I’ll find a sweet deal Friday. Because autographs are a thing.

I’ve nudged the local bookstore to see if they have a date when they’d want me there for an event/signing. I need to step up my game though. There’s radio stations, newspapers, TV stations, libraries–I have to get all the things done, and I’m running out of time. Man, it really snuck up on me. Five days, dude. Less than a week until the world sees what Abnormal will look like. Less than a week until they can place orders for Abnormal. Wow.

My mind is continually being blown here. It’s a whirlwind of dates and things. I’ve got X due for the SCA on this day, Y to do for Abnormal on the next, then work and work and work and Z for Abnormal and…. Well, you get the drift.

So. Bloody. Exciting. And Book 2 is still well underway, so we’ll see what I can come up with for that. I’m looking over it again after some “time off” from it to get a fresh look. Seems like solid writing, but I know I need to add more to it. The word count isn’t quite up to par yet, so I have some work to do there as well. I need to tweak and fidget and adjust until it’s ready for submission.

Shit. I have to do an outline. And a query letter. And a synopsis. And…and…and…Oh, hell. I forgot about that part of the process. Well, better get to it.

Backlog

Why do I take on so many projects at once? Oh yeah, because I enjoy the outcome.

So here’s the deal: in addition to the book promotional stuff and prepping for release, the promotion at work that I need to train for, and the SCA arts and sciences stuff, I’ve taken on three more embroidery projects. All three are pretty important: some small embroidery for an elevation garment, a patch for our household for a banner that gets displayed every year, and some high-profile embroidery for the current King and Queen to wear to an out-of-kingdom event. Yeah. All that.

It’s something that I can do in my spare time, but more importantly it makes me feel good when people like my embroidery. My husband got me a new book on embroidery that has really good photos of how to do different stitches, so I can build my stitch repertoire. I’m excited to get started on the embroidery that I have to do, despite the chunk of time it will all take.

I might have to do what my husband does for his tablet weaving, which is setting up a spreadsheet or something like that to keep track of what I’m doing and when it’s due.

I may have to table the embroidery I wanted to do for Kingdom A&S, but that’s okay. I wasn’t planning on entering for Champion anyway, so it’s not a huge loss. Better to get the commission work done first. Gotta prioritize.

Book promotion is slowly chugging along. I tweet, I Instagram, I update the countdown (20 days now), I have been contacting local bookstores to try to get events set up…. It’s a lot, but every step forward makes me feel good.

Speaking of work, I should really get back to the elevation embroidery. That’s the next one due. Until the morrow! 🙂

Author Birthday Q&A

Hey, everyone! It’s my 39th birthday, and I thought I’d give you a chance to ask author/book-related questions about me! All day today, comment, tweet, direct message, whatever, and I’ll do my best (in between birthday celebrations) to answer your questions! Ask about my inspirations, writing process, characters, the world of Abnormal, etc.

21 days until Abnormal is released in stores and on Amazon!!!