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.

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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.

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.

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!!!

Techno-babble

Well, due to technical difficulties, last night was a cluster. I set up in the spare bedroom with the door closed to read, phone in hand to live record me. The phone said I was live.

The phone lied.

Another RhetAskew author jumped into the Facebook event I created and took over while I sat there dutifully reading to an empty room. About halfway through I started getting messages from my Editor-in-Chief and the other author asking where the heck I was. Turns out, I wasn’t live in the event as I had thought I was. I was live…somewhere? Maybe? But it didn’t show up anywhere. Rather than fumble and scramble to type responses I kept reading. I finished my “performance” and hit send.

The “live” recording did not send to the event. No, to make matters worse, it sent to my Facebook author page. So I had to go, find where the recording ended up, and share it to the event from there.

And I still haven’t been able to find the other author’s reading. I know it exists because other people saw it, but….yeah. That was my life yesterday evening.

The afternoon was not without its own hitches, either. No one asked me any questions for my Q&A, and even after going live on Twitter and then Facebook I got zilch. After nearly an hour I gave up and went to take a nap.

I’m not losing hope though. Gotta keep promoting, keep getting word out there.

Whether I’m live or not.

Blog tour, anyone?

So I’ve been encouraged/instructed to start a blog tour. As often as I blog, I still had to google what the heck a blog tour was. Is. Anywho, I need to do some blogging on other blogs besides my own. So….any takers?

If you’ve got a book blog or a sci-fi blog or a dystopian blog or a fanblog or…well, anything reading-related, I’d be willing to do a guest post for your readers. I’ll answer questions about writing, about Abnormal, about my life (within reason)…whatever. You ask, I answer, or maybe I’ll just babble on for a few paragraphs. Whatever you–or your readers–need.

You can contact me by commenting here, or you can contact Rhetoric Askew through the email link at the bottom of their page and request an “appearance.” Want to interview me about Abnormal? Ask the Askew team.

Twenty-seven days and counting. Are you ready for Abnormal?

Upcoming ups and comings

Q&A is set for next Wednesday, 2pm PST! 🙂 I’ll go live on Twitter to answer questions about Abnormal, but you can send me questions ahead of time or send them to RhetAskew Publishing by using the email link at the bottom of their page. More questions means more answers…but no spoilers! 😉

Also next week (Monday afternoon or evening): Shy little ol’ me is going to try to do either a video recording of me reading an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Abnormal or maybe–maybe–a live reading. It depends on my courage at the time. I’ve gotta get used to being on-camera for interviews and what have you, but I want to dip my toes first. So, either live or recorded, I’ll be reading from Abnormal next Monday afternoon. Probably around….Well, it depends on my courage. Two-ish PST if I’m live, a little later if I choke and record it.

I’ll also be setting up interviews and blog tours (that’s a thing I heard of, but don’t ask me how they work just yet–the Askew team will be helping me) and some other stuff along the way. I’m getting busier and busier as September 1st approaches, and that will be far from the end of it. I have to contact bookstores and libraries about potential events/book signings/readings/etc. I have to get in touch with radio stations and newspapers and all that jazz. It’s going to be hard work, but it will be worthy work.

Don’t forget Tucson Comic Con, either! I’ll be there, fair and square, Friday through Sunday! November 2-4, 2018. If you’re anywhere near Tucson, AZ, head on down!

Q&A

Hello, everybody!! Twenty-nine days until Abnormal hits bookstores and Amazon, and as a treat I’ll be doing a live Q&A next week about the book! 🙂 (Tentatively looking at Wednesday afternoon, maybe say two-ish PST? Have to check my day job schedule.)

question-marks

Have questions like “What’s Abnormal about,” “Who’s Clare,” “Where did you get your inspiration,” or “What’s your favorite movie”? Comment, tweet, send a PM, whatever, and I’ll answer it next week.

Not sure where to start with questions? Check out my old posts and tweets. If it’s book- or writing-related from the last two years, I probably mention Abnormal or its sequel somewhere in there. My tweets are full of quotes from Abnormal, and not only does reading them give you a sneaky peeky at the book, it also lets you get a feel for Abnormal and maybe what kinds of questions you’d have about it. There’s even a “lost chapter” of sorts in the form of a short story that made it to my blog but never made it to the book! Which post is it? Well…maybe that can be one of your questions. 😉

There’s more in the works, but for now we’ll tentatively “meet” Wednesday at two-ish PST. “See” you then!

 

Thirty days hath September…

You know that old mnemonic to remember which months have thirty days and which have thirty-one? “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one. Except for February. That guy doesn’t fit the rhyming scheme.” Or something like that.

Well, August has thirty-one, so that means thirty days until ABNORMAL hits stores!

That’s right: I got a widget for my phone. Now I can count down properly 😉 And, since there’s Tucson Comic Con in my future, I can set a widget for that, too. Maybe that’ll get my lazy butt motivated to sew my corset again. Lol

I still have lots to do (contacting other authors to see if they want advanced reader copies, push Abnormal like there’s no tomorrow, finish my own ARC assignment, set up interviews and blog tours–still don’t quite get that one–and live post and…) So yeah. Still work to be done.

This has been an amazing journey, and I’ve learned a lot about the publishing side of things. I can’t wait to learn more with Book 2 😉

I’ll add a new image with a new quote from Abnormal each day until the release, so be sure to check out my Instagram (@AJMullican), Twitter (also @AJMullican), and Facebook author page for updates. There’s also a mailing list where you can get your email added for news and updates about Abnormal as well as view the book trailer again. And don’t feel shy about sharing–share away! Spread the news about Abnormal and get the word out!

Advanced notice

It’s getting closer and closer to Release Day, and in the hopes of getting some blurbs for the cover of Abnormal I’ve started sending out emails to other authors to see if they’d be interested in and Advanced Reader Copy to read and comment on. It’ll be interesting to see who bites and reads it.

I’m also doing an advanced read on another Askew author’s book (in exchange for her AR of mine), so of course I’m piling more work on top of the work I already have to do. Glutton for punishment, anyone? ‘Cause that’s me.

I had my interview for the promotion yesterday, but since there’s at least one other applicant that I know of (who is as qualified as I am, if not more so), it’s going to be the waiting game for a while. The owner of the practice has to review our resumes and questionnaires with my supervisor before making a determination. Good thing I clip my nails, because otherwise I’d be biting them in anticipation. As it is, my lip is chewed to pieces almost. Lol

SCA life is quiet for a couple of weeks, which means I get to game with friends this Saturday (better brush up on the system, because I’ve played all of one game way back in the fall) and the following Saturday is my birthday. The big 3-9, the beginning of the last year in my thirties. I’m not as freaked out about forty as I was about thirty, which seems weird, but I guess you get to a point in your life where you’re like “Whatever.” Some of my friends are taking me out for a dinner/cider tasting, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Other than that, my time is kinda my own for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I have the AR to do. Yeah, I have embroidery/sewing to work on. Yeah, I have work-work to do. Yeah, I have to finish remaking my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con. Yeah, I have marketing footwork to do. Still, it’s nice to not be running around crazy trying to catch up for a little bit.

(And yeah, all that and then some is me “relaxing” for a couple of weeks. 😉 )

Stuck in the past, no time for the future

So with one Arts & Sciences competition behind me and another one looming this weekend, plus the interkingdom arts exchange project I’ve been working on, plus another period craft I plan on doing, plus the Kingdom A&S competition in the fall, I find myself with little time for mundane sewing. This poses a slight problem, because I have to completely remake my Dark Phoenix corset before Tucson Comic Con in November.

Yeah, November’s a ways away, and I’ve made corsets before with much more of a time crunch, but I want to do this right. I want to look nice for my “fans” (okay, for random congoers who happen to stop by my table) at the con, but the previous corset I made was entirely too big. This time I’m going to go strictly by the pattern and not try to alter it to make it bigger. A corset’s supposed to be tight anyway, right? Sure. That’s the excuse I’ll give myself when I’m muffintopping out of it. Good thing I made a shirt to wear under it.

I need to get a few new materials, too. I have the basic top fabrics, but even with some careful seam ripping I’ll need new canvas for the inner layers and some new bias binding. Oh yeah, and new grommets. Maybe new lacing. *Sigh* So there’s the money aspect I need to take into consideration.

I also have to find the time to make the corset in the midst of weekends of SCA events, gaming, birthday (less than 2 1/2 weeks to go ’til 39!), etc. Then there’s the book marketing that I’ll have to do, with potentially time taken away for interviews and in-store events, and the Advanced Read Copy of another book from my publisher that I need to read and comment on. And I applied for a promotion at work that will take up considerably more of my time than I’m currently spending on the clock. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

Once the corset is made, I need to try on all my costumes again to make sure everything still semi-fits. I’ve gained entirely too much weight in recent months, and I’d rather not have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the con. That means I might potentially have to alter or remake other small pieces (but not another corset–if I have to do that I’ll probably cry lol) so I can comfortably sit at the con. Yay for skirts with elastic waistbands and Spandex pants! Lol

I’m trying to also factor in for potential embroidery commissions/requests in the interim. Right now, I just have the arts exchange project and the one craft project for myself, and one little bit of “tiny embroidery.” Basically, embroidering someone’s arms in miniature, so a max of 1.5 inches wide, maybe thinner.

The future is fast approaching, but I think if I buckle down and focus I can make it there with a corset to wear. I mean, how many times now have I had the Cosplay Con Crunch to deal with?

Yeah. I got this.