As We Look to the Future…

No matter one’s political views, history happened this week.  In the United States, we got a new President.  With the change in leadership, it is natural to look towards and think about the future.

In my first venture into writing a science-fictionesque novel, I wrote “unLEASHed.”  It gives a potential version of life in 2034.  Personally, I hope life doesn’t become the world I created for the book.  Alas, as life unfolded in the year and a halfish since the book’s release, I saw more and more evidence that it might just be a psychic book rather than a sci-fi book.

So, on this historical weekend, to commemorate the possibilities that come with a new presidency, I am giving away the Kindle version of “unLEASHed.”  I won’t tell you what to think, but I hope it gives you something to think about while you’re reading it.

And well, FREE is a price that fits every budget.

Thanks for reading.

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Farewell to a Local Bookstore

On Friday, I visited Book King, in downtown Rutland, Vermont.  I had read that it was closing, and as for the past year it has been the only place where readers can walk in and purchase my books in Rutland County, I wanted to check in, in person.  As I strolled down Center Street, I noticed other businesses, that I had long accepted as staples of downtown Rutland, were gone.  Vamoose.  No more.  It makes me sad.  I’d love to think that they moved to a more prime location with additional space and parking spaces, but the reality is that they likely closed.  I don’t like change.  I like tradition.  I like trusted, long-time, businesses.  I cherish interactions with people who are passionate about their workplaces. I like walking into an actual bookstore and looking at displays and touching physical books.  I enjoy stopping by a candy store and browsing the cases of sweet choices.  And nothing compares to choosing flowers and plants from the aisles and coolers of a local, family, flower shop and greenhouses.

But times are changing.  The flower shop of my childhood closed several years ago, now.  I find that I most often buy candy at the supermarket.  Even my books are print-on-demand through the Internet.  Life moves fast, and convenience has tremendous merit when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day.  Yet, are we missing out on the little joys in our rush to get everything done?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am thankful for having a print-on-demand option for my books.  I wouldn’t be a published author without it.  However, I dream of having my books sold in actual bookstores.  All four of my books are available for purchase in (or through) your favorite physical bookstore… but it’s “cheaper” and “easier” to just order it online.  But this week, in celebration of Rutland, Vermont’s Book King, I ask you, if you’re in Rutland, Vermont, to stop in and pick up a copy of “Wicked Normal” or “Wicked Weird.”  I don’t mind one iota if you set it right back down again. Nor do I mind if you purchase it.  But just go in, hold a book or two in your hands, and support the efforts of a small business that gave it a go… before it’s gone.  And if you’re somewhere else this week, try to carve out some time to go to your local bookstore and remember a time, not truly so long ago, when you (or, depending on your age, your parents) spent a rewarding Saturday afternoon scanning the shelves in hopes of finding your newest favorite.  And if that bookstore doesn’t have my books (obviously your soon-to-be newest favorites), they can order them for you.  After all, most things aren’t only available online… that’s just typically the most convenient option.

Here’s to not living life solely based on convenience, and to enjoying the treasures we might otherwise take for granted… before we run out of time to do so.  Happy summer.

An Experiment in Pricing…

Somewhere, I believe online, I have read that $3.99 is the perfect price for e-books. The theory is that if a book is priced at $2.99, readers view the book as being “cheap” and equate it as a reflection of low-quality content. On the other hand, books at $4.99 are seen as a pricey gamble.

Thus far, I have self-published three books. My fourth book is nearing completion, but as all four books are part of the same series, readers may wish to read the first three books prior to the fourth’s release. Therefore, it seemed to be a perfect time to conduct my $3.99 experiment.

So, “Wicked Normal,” “Wicked Weird,” and “Wicked Awesome” are available for Kindle and Nook for $3.99 each. If I sell many more copies than I had been selling, I will know that the $3.99 price is, indeed, the perfect price for e-books. If sales remain the same, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

For anyone who has been sitting on pins and needles in anticipation, the fourth book will likely be called “Wicked Dramatic.” It will tell the story of Persephone Smith’s year as an eighth grader… a year filled with Drama (with a capital D).

Yes, I’m glad I’m not in Junior High anymore. It was… well, wicked dramatic. Yeah, it wasn’t a stretch to figure out what Book Four’s title would be.

Thanks for reading.

Summerfest

If you’re in Rutland, Vermont, this weekend, it may be nearly impossible to avoid Summerfest.  When I was young, they called it Sidewalk Sales, but it has become bigger and better and is now… Summerfest.

But maybe… rather than avoid Summerfest, you should embrace it!  The quirky little Vermont town stuff is what makes Vermont… Vermont.  It’s easy to lose sight of that if one lives in a place that is always quirky, small-town, beautiful, etc.  When trying to find a way around a man-made traffic jam, we conveniently forget that Vermonters are lucky to have celebratory events that bring most residents together.  How good does it feel to go somewhere and know that you’ll know people there… even if you haven’t planned to meet up with anyone? 

So if you find yourself in Rutland, Vermont, this weekend… and you see a road is closed for Summerfest… find a parking place and walk over to it.  You might discover something wonderful that you wouldn’t have found if you had simply detoured around downtown.

And while you’re at Rutland’s Summerfest, stop by Book King and buy autographed copies of “Wicked Normal” and “Wicked Weird,” my first two books.  Yes, they’re now available in Rutland’s bookstore.

In the spirit of Summerfest, wherever you are, rather than detour through life directly to wherever you were heading, explore something quirky and off the beaten track this weekend.  You certainly won’t regret that you got out there and enjoyed a summer weekend.

Now At a Bookstore Near You!

The sunburn I got at the Farmers Market back in June has turned to tan.  The fireworks of the Fourth are behind us.  The temperatures have cooled from the heatwave.  The calendar is about to turn to August.  It’s official… summer goes by faster than other seasons!

Last weekend, I discovered a FEW of the independent bookstores of Vermont.  Ever since I’ve published my first book I’ve been wanting to get my books physically into bookstores, as let’s face it, many voracious readers like to touch and thumb through a book before purchasing it.

So if you are a Vermont reader, and want to put your hands on a copy of Wicked Normal or Wicked Weird, you can go to Bear Pond Books or Rivendell Books in Montpelier, Vermont; Next Chapter Bookstore in Barre, Vermont; or Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, Vermont… they should have my book in stock, so let them know that you want it and hopefully they’ll point you to it!

I’m hoping to add to list of bookstores where my books can be found, so if your favorite isn’t listed yet, feel free to order/request my books wherever you like to buy your reading materials!

And for anyone anxiously awaiting Book Three… I’ve been working on it!  I hope it will be out in the fall, but I won’t sacrifice quality for an arbitrary deadline… so it will be out when it’s ready!  (And you’ll surely know about it!)

In the meantime, if you haven’t read Wicked Normal yet, the Kindle version is now only $4.99.  Okay… that’s the end of my shameless self-promotion.

I hope that, even though it’s flying by us, you’re enjoying your summer!  I know I sure could use a day at the beach, as nothing says summer to me like putting my toes in the too cold Atlantic Ocean.  (That and ice cream, boyband concerts, thunderstorms, flip flops…)  So, whatever defines summer for you, go enjoy it!  If it will be only a memory before we know it, we may as well make that memory memorable.

It’s Almost That Time Again…

My second book, Wicked Weird, will soon be published.  I don’t have a release date, as one of the perks of self-publishing is that it gets released as soon as I’m ready for the world to see it… which is any day now!

Wicked Weird is a continuation of the series that debuted last September with Wicked Normal.  In the second novel, protagonist Persephone Smith faces her first year of middle school.  But there’s more to her life than just the trouble she finds as a sixth grader.  As luck would have it, there happens to be a storyline about unicorns, this time around!

The intended audience remains the same, so it, too, is written for readers aged nine and up.  I do recommend reading Wicked Normal prior to enjoying the upcoming Wicked Weird as the characters are evolving and changing due to the plot that continually builds.  I am planning to wind up with a twelve book series, so be prepared for many more twists, turns, and “oh my – she didn’t really do THAT, did she?” moments before the final, final chapter.

Thank you for all your reading!  I will let you know as soon as Wicked Weird is published and available!  Until then, make sure you and all your friends have read Wicked Normal!  It can be purchased through your favorite book source or through my e-store: www.createspace.com/3914223

So until next time, here’s a sneak preview of the planned cover art for Wicked Weird!

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Crashed

Maybe it’s just the onset of the holiday season, or perhaps the lessening hours of sunlight each day, but lately, I’ve lost all track of time.

Over the weekend I decided to unwind a little by treating myself to a small road trip. The first stop was a socks sale.  I’m probably downplaying it a bit, as it’s the Cabot Hosiery Mills Socks sale that was featured on the news.  Alright, yeah, you’re right, it’s Vermont… pretty much ANYthing becomes a newsworthy event.  At any rate, I bought a bunch of socks.  From there I went to the Baked Beads Clearance and got jewelry and beads (not that I NEED more beads, but I do love acquiring pretty beads).  Okay, I have totally sidetracked from the point of mentioning my road trip!  So, on this road trip, it was so gorgeous – blue skies, reasonably warm temps, green grass – that I felt like it should have been like March… not November.

When I got home, I decided to use my vacation time to put a dent in finishing the rough draft of Book Two (It’s over 80,000 words, so far, and still untitled, but it picks up where Wicked Normal leaves off, for those of you who have become faithful readers of my series!).  I jumped out of bed this morning with a great brainstorm for the chapter upon which I was set to embark… but my computer wanted me to install an update.  And so I did.  And well… my computer consequently crashed.

So instead of writing that chapter, today was spent doing a System RECOVERY on my computer.  You know what those are, right?  It’s when you lose all the programs and settings you have on your system, but the computer works again.  And apparently, despite claims that you don’t lose your data, you evidently lose anything you’ve saved to the Desktop.

And guess where I’ve been saving Book Two?  Um yeah.  On my Desktop of course!

Now, most of my Facebook friends are doing the gratitude thing on a daily basis for giving thanks this month… but I haven’t been.  But today, I will…  I am grateful for my external hard drive and for having the idea to save Book Two to it JUST before rebooting my computer for that update this morning.  Yep, that’s right… I didn’t lose a single word that I had written.  🙂  I did lose today as a writing day… but I still have tonight.

Sometimes life is so dizzying that it takes a crash to help us regain our perspective and reprioritize our time.  This past weekend, Sunday felt like Saturday, noon to 3 has felt like nap time, and well, frankly, I didn’t accomplish my plans for today.  But I have tonight… and tomorrow… and hopefully plenty more days beyond that… even if it is nearly the end of November and my brain still tells me it’s maybe early October.  The bottom line is I’m fine, I’m extremely blessed, and I’ll catch up… sometime.