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.

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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.

Supply and demand

Ok, folks, here’s the 411 on getting Abnormal to a bookstore near you:

Ask for it!

Don’t be shy. Go up to the salesclerk, the store manager, whoever, and tell them you want to buy Abnormal when it comes out September 1. Tell them you want multiple copies. Tell them your second cousin twice removed on your mother’s side wants a copy.

Not sure if you want paperback or hardcover? Ask for both! You can decide which you want when it comes in. Or you can buy both. The choice is yours, but you have to be assertive and request it.

The more demand we create, the more supply stores will order. Simple economics.

So get out there, do your best Veruca Salt impression, and say, “I want it now!” 😉

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.

Take two

Today at 2pm PST I’ll be hosting a live Q&A on Twitter to answer questions about Abnormal, and at 7pm PST I’ll have my crazy self in front of the camera again as I read the first chapter of Abnormal on Facebook. 🙂

In order to watch (and possibly win a digital copy of Abnormal just for commenting on the live video), check out my author page on Facebook. Give it a like, check out the event I created for it, and come on by. I promise to try to read slower and enunciate better than I did with my first attempt at a live read. Lol Maybe a little “liquid courage” at dinner before I get started. 😉

Don’t worry, I won’t be slobbering drunk. I’ll just be … relaxed. Yeah. Relaxed. I hope.

Things are speeding up now. T-minus 24 days until release. T-minus 86 days until Tucson Comic Con.

Well, off to email bookstores and the like for potential author events. Lots to do!

Back for seconds

So, for those who were able to view my live reading of a scene from Abnormal, how did you like it? If you missed it, feel free to check out my Twitter page and watch the recording to get a glimpse of the story. 🙂

Guess what? Tomorrow, August 8, I’ll be reading a different scene live on Facebook! Check it out:

Here’s the link to my author page on Facebook for that reading.

I’m hoping to be more relaxed and less nervous (and thus to read slower and not rattle it off too fast) this time now that I’ve done it once already. We’ll see.

Last time I read an action scene… This time, I’m going to try to pick out something sweet. 😉

“See” you tomorrow evening at 7pm PST!

Being #ABNORMAL is not a crime

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Abnormal is rapidly approaching release, and I want to know: What makes you #ABNORMAL?

There are tons of “abnormalities” in life that are criminalized, penalized, or ostracized in society. Transsexualism, LGBTQIA “lifestyle,” being overweight, underweight, tall, short, rich, poor, too ugly, too pretty even. What about you makes you “abnormal” by today’s society? What have you had to deal with due to your “abnormality”?

Let me know. In a comment, a tweet, an Instagram post–let me know what makes you #ABNORMAL. Hashtag #WhatMakesMeAbnormal and #ABNORMAL, and let’s get a conversation going. I want to know what you’ve gone through. I want to know your trials and tribulations due to not being the impossible “normal.”

I want to get “normal” thrown out the window–or maybe redefined. I want us all to be proud of our “abnormalities,” not shamed by them. I want to create a new normal, one that includes all of humanity–no matter what they look like, act like, talk like, whatever.

Friday excerpt

I present to you part of the first chapter (eleventieth draft of the first chapter, that is) of my next novel, which I will hopefully have ready to publish on Kindle next year.

Now, this is still a rough draft; it hasn’t gone through proper editing and revisions, so bear with me.

Enjoy!

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Chapter 1

The electronic music in the club pulsed and throbbed, stirring Clare’s blood into a frenzy. Her silver-grey ponytail whipped around as she danced with her hips grinding against the nearest warm body. The Geff she danced with was a woman today, slender body pulled into an hourglass by a slick NeoSkin corset. Clare could feel the desire emanating from hu, and she fed off that to stimulate her own burning need. Maybe she’d take this Geff home tonight … and some friends of hus, if hu was up for it.

Hus name was Andie. Well, tonight it was; hu had been born Andrew, and a part of hum was still Andy on some days. Andie wore hus hair short in a style that could go from he to she and back again in with little to no effort. Clare loved the lightning-blue color Andie had dyed hus hair; maybe that would be Clare’s next color.

Andie’s twin, Billy (or Billie, depending on the day), was also somewhere in the club. Clare could sense hum nearby, but hu was unaware of her scan. Andie and Billy had an intimate relationship for twins, one that would have been abhorred a hundred years or so ago. Ever since the freelove movement of the 2050s, however, the definition of sexual deviance had been drastically altered. Clare sensed all this and more in the few minutes that she writhed with Andie. She knew that if she approached the two of them about a triple (or maybe a quad? There was a man in the corner who also caught her eye) they would both be receptive. Good. Clare could stand to blow off some pent-up energy after the week she’d had.

Whoever was stalking her was good. Too good. Clare had been finding chilling paper notes wherever she went for almost a week now, and each note was more … descriptive … than the last. Her stalker was into some depraved shit, and he spared no detail in his scrawling scribbles. This person seemed to know things about her that no one could possibly know: her address, her ID code, the fact that her NormID was a fake …

That last one could get her killed or worse, sent to a camp. Clare didn’t think she’d last very long in a camp. So why was she out at a club at three in the morning instead of getting the hell out of Heaven’s Light?

Because she thought she had it handled. She was wrong.

Another set of hips joined the dance without warning. It wasn’t something that would normally disturb Clare—the more the merrier, she figured—but two things raised red flags to her: she hadn’t sensed the person approaching her until the physical contact gave her access to their mind, and the mind controlling those hips was awash in sadism and deviance. This man (and he was definitely a man) wanted someone to dominate that night. Clare just had the misfortune of dancing straight into his radar.

She tried to disengage herself from the man behind her, but he grabbed her waist with strong hands, sliding his fingers under her vintage leather coat and digging them into her skin, latching on like a hawk snagging its prey. Images flitted through his brain, images so dark and disturbing and powerful that they radiated from him in waves, bypassing the implanted Psy-Block that had prevented Clare from sensing his presence. Clare closed off her mind to the onslaught of filth. She’d never seen memories that twisted in all her twenty-two years as a Telepath.

Fear spread through her as she felt a deep growl rumble through the body that pressed itself to her. It was primal, dangerous, and foreboding. He didn’t intend to let her go. Not while she lived at least.

Andie spun away into the crowd, leaving Clare alone with the predator. Clare didn’t care about whether she would be getting a triple or a quad anymore; she wanted out of the club, and she wanted out now.

Empty Heart

My heart is empty

At the sickening news

Why can’t I feel

As others do

Why don’t I cry

Why don’t I weep

Why don’t I care

How can I sleep

And dream and live

As though nothing’s wrong

While others bleed

I sing along

As playlist finds

A happy tune

On this melancholy

Month of June

Dozens dead

And millions mourn

So why don’t I

Feel as forlorn

I know it’s sad

I know it’s wrong

So why can’t I

Grieve for the loss

Perhaps I’m cold

Perhaps a cynic

Is there perhaps

A caring clinic

A place to go

A place to learn

How I can care

And feel concern

I don’t know what

Is wrong with me

I cannot care

‘Bout pain I see