Migration misdirection

Okay. I got the new site up. I got the blog content from this site imported to the new site.

www.ajmullican.com is a go!

Except….I can’t figure out how to do the technical stuff to redirect this page to the http://www.ajmullican.com page.

So….Yeah. Until I can find the answers on Google (or I overcome my stubbornness to ask my husband for help), this page will still be active, but the content is–as far as I can tell–on the new site now.

Go to the new link and keep your eyes peeled as the days tick down til Abnormal releases!

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.

I’m such a tease

Abnormal is ever closer to publication, and yesterday was kind of a milestone for me.

You see, I have only ever written one other novel. A one-shot, no-sequel, wrap-up-all-the-loose-ends-at-the-end kind of novel. But Abnormal? That puppy’s the first in a series. My publisher knows this, has known this since they first laid eyes on it, but it never occurred to me that they’d want a snippet of Book 2 at the end of Abnormal to tease the next book and let readers know that there’s more to come.

tease gif

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me. That’s what “real” authors do with their books, right? So it makes perfect sense…I just hadn’t thought that far ahead, I guess. It wasn’t real yet.

It’s very real now.

I’ve set up my first book signing for two weeks after release, and I have a small, personal release party scheduled for the evening of September 1st. There will be drinking (probably mostly on my part) and book signings and possibly drunk live tweeting/Facebook live-ing and generally a good time for all.

The upcoming weeks will be quite busy for me. I have no “free” weekends for a while, so I’ve got to work in non-work work wherever I can. Sometimes during my work-work lunch break.

I’ll get back to Book 2 soon….then, when that’s done and edited and submitted and the whole process is starting over again, I’ll get started on Book 3. 🙂 Let’s see how far down the road I can take this show!

And then there was one….

Tomorrow, folks! Tomorrow Abnormal gets its big cover reveal, and the preorder link goes live! I am so freakin’ excited!

baby opening present excited gif

Now, if you follow this blog on more than one platform (Facebook, Twitter, whatever in addition to here), you may notice that you’re not seeing this cross-posted. There are a couple of reasons for that. First off, I’m attending an virtual workshop on how to market a book, and surprise! Readers/followers don’t like repeat content. You’ve seen my blog post once; you don’t need to see it over and over again ad nauseum.

Secondly, I actually do check my stats on this blog pretty frequently. Obsessively, even. And I’ve noticed that lately, it’s not Twitter or Facebook that gets the most views for me. It’s WordPress reader. So, my hope is that these still get read even if they’re not in-your-face on every platform.

I’m also going to venture into creating a website for myself. There are going to be links to the preorder (starting tomorrow, or when I get the site up–I have no idea how long this will take me), there will be the book trailer, and there will even be a link to Whispers of Death, my first novel.

This site will probably take a while to get up and running, because I know zero about website creation. I’ll keep posting here for a while, but soon ajmullican.com will be the place to go. (No point in putting an actual hyperlink there until I know the site works lol)

Off I go down the rabbit hole of website creation and stuff!

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.

Draw Nigh

Someone I knew not nearly as well as I should have passed away yesterday, and I’ve been trying to take time to process my thoughts and feelings on the tragedy.

I should’ve talked with him more. I should’ve engaged and not shrunk into my shell when he said “Hi” to me at SCA events and meetings. I should’ve … Well, I could fill the whole Internet with shoulda/coulda/wouldas here. Suffice it to say, a great man died, and rather than using my words to console friends and chosen family–other than to send my condolences in a private message to his wife–I spent my day reading how he touched others’ lives and wondering why I wasn’t touched the same way.

In the end, I determined it was my fault. My shyness and social anxiety kept me from knowing this man as well as everyone else did. Sure, I said “Hi” back, and I hugged back, and I answered any questions he asked about how I was doing and such, but I didn’t force myself to really listen and ask questions of my own. The last thing I said to him was something along the lines of “Oh, gallbladder surgery is a piece of cake.”

His gallbladder, it turned out, was not the problem.

So why didn’t I send a Facebook message to him when his wife, who I know a little better, sent out requests for kind words, silly memes, and comfort? I certainly had been Facebook friends with him long enough that I should’ve been able to send a meme to cheer him up in the hospital, right?

There’s that shoulda again.

Maybe it was guilt. I mean, he was already in the early stages of whatever-it-was that killed him, and I brushed it off as a piece of cake. I’d had my gallbladder out over ten years ago with no complications whatsoever; surely this tall man with the booming voice and ever-present smile would make it through something like that just as easily.

There it is. There are the tears that wouldn’t come yesterday. But am I crying for the loss or crying for myself?

I don’t really know for sure, but considering it was seeing “booming voice” that set me off, I’d like to think there’s enough humanity inside me to be sad at something other than my own inadequacies.

I think I’ll miss that booming voice most of all. Of all the heralds I’ve met in my short time so far in the SCA, his was the loudest, the clearest, the strongest. Even in his day-to-day conversations, he sounded like a radio announcer or movie voiceover actor. There was depth to that voice. Confidence. Strength.

“Draw nigh for court” will never sound quite the same. A great voice has been silenced, and it’s going to be a while before any of us are really okay again.

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!!!

What fresh hell is this

It’s 2018 already people. Almost 2019. We’re supposed to be evolving, not devolving. So what the actual fuck?

I’m gonna go vaguely specific here. Why is stupid shit like sexism, racism, and general assholery still being rewarded? Hell, shit that’s worse than general assholery is being rewarded. I don’t get it.

How fucking hard is it to reward the good and beat the snot out of the bad? Okay, maybe not beat the snot out of them. But something. Positive reinforcement for negative behavior doesn’t stop the negative behavior.

I guess I’m just angry at society in general today. Not you, individually (unless you’re an asshole), but in general. Maybe this weekend I’ll be able to pick up my spirits and not be so jaded and pissed off. Maybe I’ll see more people standing up like they should. Maybe heads will come out of asses and things will be right for one.

Maybe.

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!

Distracted by reality

I’ve got some dedicated reading to do for Rhetoric Askew, but for some reason I can’t focus on it.

It could be that I have a touch of real-life interfering with my concentration. You see, I have an interview later today for a promotion at work. There are pros and cons to the job, but I think I can do it, and really it’s the only opportunity for advancement that is open to me right now. I can’t move up in the surgical department because I can’t physically do the scrub assist job (I tried; my back said no), and there’s not really anywhere else to go. I’m not without competition for this job, so I have to take that into consideration and not get my hopes 100% up. But I’ve gotten encouragement from coworkers, and I’m confident that, if chosen, I can do the thing.

That confidence doesn’t stop me from obsessing over it, though.

I can’t even focus on this post. I have about a million possible scenarios running through my head. Lol

Wish me luck!