Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Down time and why we create

Summer is a very busy time for me. Not sure about other writers, but last summer got hectic (in a good way) and this summer even more so. Summer might be my books' time of year ;).

This is good. Books need notice and hectic means noticed books.

But it still takes a lot out of a person. Positive stressors are still stressors. So down time is important. This year I fell upon the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. This is their big event and so many awesome actors were there it was a joy.

I went by myself, drawn by the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek Next Gen (yes, gasp and feel old--I do ;)). But they had actors from all of the series, and even one or two from the movies. I made a shocking realization that the last "Big" Trek even I went to was the original series 20th...as in it was 31 years ago-LOL.

I had a lot of fun and running solo meant I could do what I wanted when I wanted. Once I got into the swing of it, it was good to be on my own (okay, not completely alone, I posted everything on Facebook ;)).

I needed that escape, that time just to do what I wanted. To recharge. 

Which leads to the second half of this post--why we create.

Creating art (books, paintings, drawings, movies, acting, music, whatever) is hard. There are times it's a joy, but alot of time it is work. And stress. So why do we do it?

Aside from being deranged people who can't NOT do it?

We create to bring something to other people. Life is scary, even more so these days. Creating something that makes folks laugh, dream, move beyond the scary for just a while makes a difference. The other night I was upset and channel surfing. I hit the last part of Shrek. I've seen it many times, but just getting lost in the silliness and charm did wonders for my spirit.

That's why I create. I hope that my books bring some joy, laughter, and escapism to people out there.

Take care of each other (and yourselves ;)).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

#IWSG Peeves and life

Welcome, yet again to another episode of how the neurotic writer turns! This is a monthly blog list where writers from all around the globe join forces and yell at the Universe :). Join us!





With this group, we have the option to run wild on our own, or answer a monthly question. Today I decided to do both!

 Mwhahaaaaa!

First, my own little bits of madness. Writing life. When something bad happens to a writer: rejection, bad reviews, more rejection, etc, we often go global on it.  The "Oh my GAWD! A reader hated my book! An agent rejected me! I MUST SUCK!" This is true for all aspects of life but I'm just focusing on the writing part ;). One apple is bad, therefore we must burn down the entire orchard in our woe.

Yet when something great happens--good reviews, nice agents, winning awards, we get excited immediately, then it fades. Part of our tiny lizard brain is certain it was a fluke or mistake. We don't go there with the bad stuff, oh no. That is clearly an indication that we are awful writers.

But the good? "Gotta be a mistake."  I very recently (like last Friday) won an award through the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of the RWA--a Prism. I had my moments of doubt when I was named a finalist for Warrior Wench. Then extreme happiness when the book won. Then back to doubts. Seriously? Why is it we are conditioned to make the bad global and the good a "fluke"? (I'm asking- if any of you know why ;)).

I realized that was pretty dumb (and yes, I have a Master's in Psychology and it took all these years to realize that was a dumb way to operate ;)).  

Did the win change my life? I now get to call myself a "multiple award winning author" so that's cool. But aside from that-no changes in sales, or life in general. But guess what? The bad things didn't destroy me either.  So to all of my fellow neurotic writers out there- let's treat our successes at least as focused as we do our failures!

Onto the IWSG question of the month--Peeves.

My biggest as a reader is when an author focuses on something, extremely focuses on it...then doesn't do anything with it. I read a lot of series, so I know sometimes a focus on one book doesn't pay off until a future book. But when it never does? GRRRRRRR.

What's your biggest peeve?

Happy IWSG Day!




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In which I pontificate about Comic-Con International

Yes, it's that time again kids--momma's going to Comic-Con International, San Diego!

Way back in the day, I wouldn't have needed the full name. Just Comic-Con worked as this was really the only one of it's kind. Also, back in the day, even telling local "mundane" people where I was going would bring a, "what?". Then I'd explain until their eyes glazed over or they ran away in terror.

Now when I say where I'm going there is envy there. Sometimes even a bit of drool. This is in part because of the rise and acceptance of nerdom. I think that back in the day there were a lot of closet nerds who refused to let their inner geek flag fly.

It's now okay to be geeky ;).

Plus, there is the cred. Folks want to be able to say, "I went to Comic-Con!" (ergo- cool by association whereas in the past it was un-cool by association ;)).

But we are here! It is time! This my 25th year (started in 1991, but missed a year early on). I have seen some changes.

 I remember when one of the registration folks was going up the escalator and yelled to another, "we hit 50,000 people!"

I remember getting a text from a friend in the "big" room saying, "IT's ARNOLD!!!" The first REALLY big star to show up. Prior to that there would always be rumors, "Johnny Depp & Tim Burton will be at the Sleepy Hollow panel!" Then there would be the, "they are unable to attend--due to traffic" (they couldn't get out of LA-LOL- right ;)).  Casper Van Dien held that panel all by himself and did an awesome job.

I remember walking by the reg booth for the next year, and the folks working it becoming very excited when we stopped to actually by our tickets.

I remember preview night being mostly empty and finding all sorts of deals (and prior to that when it was for the vendors).

We would have huge groups of friends meet for breakfast downtown. Ya had to get there early to fight for parking, and back then you didn't have lines, so we'd go have a nice, obnoxious meal together. The buffet at the Marriott (sadly, now long gone) was the usual place.

I remember joining with friends under the sails to dance, drink, and snark during the Masquerade. The line for that is not doable anymore. 

Up until a few years ago you could still get into Ballroom 20 (the second largest room at 4600 seats) with a few hours of line waiting. Now the line loops a mile or more away from the convention center.

The ol' con is not what it was. But it is still an amazing tribute to popular culture--comics, books, movies, games, groups, fandoms, you name it, it's there.

I still love it. In part for all the amazing memories of hanging out with long lost friends there. In part because the creative energy there is something that rolls off your skin. It hits you like a wave when you go to the exhibit floor, then just buffets you the entire time you're there. It's an amazing thing.

* almost forgot my shameless plug- if you're going to be there, I will be signing at booth 1119 (Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore) on Thursday from 12-12:45. Come say hi!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Maybe I'm getting the hang of this

I've got a confession, I'm a worrier. If something can go wrong I have already thought of ten other ways it can go even worse.

But, I'm trying to take my own words to heart (see prior post about pivoting ;)) and be more adaptable and not as freaked out.

I just released the Victorious Dead. Now, book releases are stressful and scare the crap out of me. This was book 6, so I doubt that is going to change. (Note: I need to build a reward into the process, to reinforce the good and change my reactions to these ;)--hmmmmm).

Anyway- so this one was extra stressful because I had it on pre-order (if you don't make your deadline, Amazon locks you in their jail for a year and your books are only fed food and water. It happened last year ;)). And I'm signing at Comic-Con International, San Diego NEXT THURSDAY.

I always underestimate the time it takes after the drafts are finished, but this was the closest I've ever cut it.

You don't have to order a print proof, but I'm old school and so I did from Createspace and Ingramspark (my two distributors for print). They both should have arrived yesterday.

Nothing.

Createspace couldn't track it and finally came back this morning saying, "Ooops- there was an error, you'll get the proof Friday." *buzz!* too late.

Ingramspark probably won't even respond until a few weeks from now and I can't track on their website.

Me: "OMG!! It's the end of the world! ARGH!!!"

Me pivoting: "Okay, worse case scenario- I order without print proofs. I really want to do the Comic-Con signing, but the world won't end if I can't."

Now, I know many authors do order without print. The online proofs are very good. But again, champion worrier here folks! However, I have just ordered some print copies. Without a print proof.

After six books, maybe I'm getting the hang of this thing (doubtful, but I remain optimistic ;)).



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#IWSG- flying by the seat of your pants

Welcome to another Insecure Writer's Support Group blog-o-mania!  Join us!



Today's prompt was one valuable lesson we've learned since we started writing--there are way too many!

But since I do need to narrow that down, let me say, "Being able to pivot".

Now, there are plenty of ways to interpret that. As a writer, it's important to be able to change with the publishing world. The publishing world wasn't buying humorous fantasy (people were, NY wasn't)- so I pivoted and went Indie instead.

We also have to adapt in our stories. Even a plotter is going to have moments where things go left instead of right. For us pantsers, it's even more common. But, you can't freak out. You simply turn and move on.

Changes can come from outside sources as well--editors, cover art, formatters, proofreaders- all of these folks can through you for a loop (rather, your well-made plans ;)). Pivot and move on. Keeping in mind that changes happen and aren't the end of the world--AND that I can just keep moving forward has been my biggest lesson--I think. I could be wrong. ;)

Happy IWSG DAY!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

So ya wanna be a published writer....

Every once in a while people will mention they have always wanted to write (and publish) a book. Or they want to ask questions about how they can get rich (the whole writing part being secondary ;)).

So, I just thought I'd outline the path to writing--the brief version.

You're NOT going to get rich ( almost all published authors have a day job for a reason, folks ;)).

Let's say that you're just starting out, brand new, wet behind the keyboard. You have an IDEA. I won't go much into the actual writing--first off it's different for each author, and secondly, that would be an entire series of blogs.

But you take your idea, and you settle down to tell your tale. There are two types of writers with a million variations, but basically : Plotter (also called an architect writer) or Pantser (also called a discovery writer).

Plotters are outliners. Some have outlines over 50 pages, some just a brief run down of the book. Thing is they know where they are going before they start the book. (JK Rowling is a famous plotter)

Pantsers are just jump in and start swimming. We (yes, I'm one) have a general idea or concept (usually) but definately a character or two we want to mess up. Then we write. For many of us, plotting would destroy the story--we write the same reason people read, to find out what happens! Now in a series, ya do have to have some points in your head to build the overall arc.(Stephan King invented the term, Ray Bradbury was also a famous pantser)

There are so many sources of help to write, I won't even go into it here--find groups, reference sites, writing books, go to conferences, talk to other writers.  The only words of wisdom I have is take all writing advice with a grain of salt, and be wary when someone says, "You ALWAYS/NEVER do blah blah blah." You'll hear a lot of conflicting advice.

So now you have your book. You've had a critique group, trusted friends, anyone you can find, look at it. You've also edited it a few dozen times. Now what do you do with it?

Two paths: Traditional publishing (you have an agent or submit directly to the publisher) and self-publishing (aka Indie--you are doing everything-- you HIRE a great editor or three, you HIRE a great cover artist.)

I do think that even indies should understand a bit on how the traditional side works--we're all part of the same business afterall. 

For info on traditional options: check out Writer's Digest, Query Tracker, Publisher's Weekly. Find out as much as you can about the business and which agents/editors are right for you. Submit it--a lot. Write another book while you wait...maybe a few.

For indies (aka self-pub) you need to really do your research. You are the one in charge, it is your name out there, and you control everything (which is great and scary ;)). I waited a year before I published The Glass Gargoyle. I was checking out cover artists, editors, web folks. Swag ;). Was everything perfect when it came out? Hell no. Still isn't. Perfection is a dream and you will drive yourself crazy over it. Make things as good as they can be right now. That's why it's so important to hire professionals to help you. Yes, it does mean you're shelling out very nice money for covers, editing, formatting, etc--but it is an investment. If you can't pay right now, hold off a year. Save your money. Write the next book.

Pretty much the bottom line is, if you want to be a published author--you can be. But you have got to LOVE the process. And have a day job ;).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Contests, awards, and not giving up

As you all know (and if you don't, you should ;)) writing is pretty solitary. Those of us with day jobs do get interaction from real humans (usually) but those jobs may or may not be related to writing.

So we lurk in our little writing caves, pounding out words, editing words, slicing and dicing words, then writing more words. Mostly all alone.

Entering contests is a way to not only gain some attention and hopefully new readers, but to interact with the writing world. It's completely subjective, one person's winner is another person's "DNF" (Did Not Finish--isn't that charming?)

Right now The Glass Gargoyle is entered in the fun and kinda crazy, SPFBO (self-published fantasy book off) a year long event that I don't have a chance of finaling in, but looks to be a lot of fun and I've already met some new fellow fantasy authors. http://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2017/05/spfbo-2017-phase-1.html

I was recently notified that Warrior Wench is a finalist in the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter (FFnP) of the RWA's contest-- the Prisms! Very excited about that one, very heavy competition, but seriously, even just being a finalist is a major item on my list :).https://ffprwa.com/2017-prism-awards-finalists-announced/


And, last weekend, The Glass Gargoyle, WON for best published SF/F in the San Diego Book Awards!

 It was very exciting and I will say seeing this award daily makes me extremely happy :).

Each one of these is a chance for myself and my books to get out into the writing world. I've entered plenty of contests and come back with nothing. Yet, I'm glad I entered, I got the books out there! And I think it's worth the attempt--ya never know what will happen!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SFWA Nebula Weekend

For today's blog, I figured I'd ramble a bit about the Nebula Weekend event I just attended this past weekend. This event is put on by SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) and is built around their pinnacle awards ceremony, the Nebulas.

This was my first one of these (but not my first convention ;)) and I've only been a SFWA member for less than a year (you do not have to be a SFWA member to go though!). 

First impressions--very, very, small. LOL. Yes, I have been going to Comic-Con, International San Diego for 25 years, so my world is skewed. But even compared to other writing conferences I've been to, this was by far the smallest. While it was kind of nice it being so tiny, I'm hoping more can be done to get the word out and make this a bigger event. I think that it's a great way for both members and new writers to mingle, network, and learn. Perhaps different panel tracks will eventually emerge for different levels of writers. The way for SFWA to grow is to support the new writers while bringing in established writers as well.

Everyone was extremely nice and helpful and they gave me a huge bag of books which will always win me over (thank you TOR and the other publishers who sent book copies ;)). I met some really great folks in the mentor session, at the signing, just walking around, and at the banquet--it was great to be around my tribe ;).

There was an amazing Grand Master- Jane Yolen. She is funny, charming, extremely intelligent and an amazing person to listen to. I'd say she was an excellent choice for Grand Master.

We also had a great Toast Master-- astronaut Kjell Lindgren. He was funny, poignant, insightful and had great stories--another excellent choice.

There were some very good panels-- just wish there had been more, but like I said, they are building this event still.

All in all, this was a wonderful event, and I would recommend ANYONE who is writing Fantasy, SF, or any sub-genre within, to attend at least once.

I'm now going to start pleading for them to move one of the cons to San Diego ;).


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Riding the rollercoster

Eons ago--seriously, in the dark ages folks--I read Battlefield Earth. It's a huge book, and while I sort of enjoyed it  at the time, nothing sticks with me except really tall aliens and that L. Ron Hubbard was very verbose.

Except for the concept of rolling in a plot. 

That was the first book where I became conscious of the ups and downs in storytelling. At the time I thought of it like a roller coaster. Or what I call down time. We've all read books where things just keep building and building with no let up, no quiet moments. They can be exhausting! (Some folks love that--more power to you!)

For me as a reader, a book needs to have an ebb and flow as it works its way up to the "Everything has gone to hell and we're all gonna die" moment. I like those quiet moments in a book. I can breathe a bit (a good writer will have you racing alongside the characters), there's often a bit of humor, or character development that makes the characters a little more real. Then I'm ready when the next massive battle, attack, mission, or whatever, happens.

This is more noticeable for action heavy books. For me, if there's too much going on and not enough down time hanging with my peeps (aka book characters ;)) I usually don't enjoy the book. I'm all for a great plot, but I LOVE characters I can fall in love with.

But even more subtle stories can benefit from the roller coaster. They too, can benefit from stepping out of the story for a moment. The sitting around a kitchen, the club, the favorite diner. Just a chance for the characters to decompress and show sides that might not have been noticeable before.

 But please, don't just use that time for an info dump or recap of what just happened in the story ;).

Sunday, May 7, 2017

THE GLASS GARGOYLE IS FREE!!!

For a VERY limited time--the ebook version of The Glass Gargoyle is FREE! If you know someone who could use some mayhem, murderous mages, and drunken faeries- send them over to get started with the series now!

(It's the faeries who made it free---I can't get them to sober up enough to unlock my Amazon password!)







Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#IWSG Goals versus Desires


Welcome to yet another monthly round of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Join us on a blog trip around the world looking at our hopes, dreams, and insecurities.



Join us!

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to make sure I enjoy what I’ve done with my writing—and at the same time keep improving, growing, moving forward.

I’ve noticed that no matter what goal I reach, no matter how much I think, “OH! I want that to happen!” once it does, I’m no longer as thrilled. I’m still excited and happy, but I feel like it’s not as cool anymore.

Then if I have a hope (desire) and it doesn’t come through, I’m bummed and feel like a failure (there’s a timing component to this post folks—two contests I’ve entered books in will be announcing their finalists in a few weeks ;)).

My ‘desire’ for awards, recognition, sales, etc. is threatening to drown out my ability to enjoy what I have achieved and why I do what I do.

As I’m looking into this I’ve realized there is a difference between goals and desires.

A goal is something we aim for and control. I can have a goal to complete three new books in a year. I control it (within reason, I do have a full time day job ;)). There are no other folks involved. I do it, or I don’t. I am solely responsible for controlling that goal.

Now a desire is that I wish for lots of people to buy and love my books. To be well off and be able to quit my day job and write full time. There are a LOT of other people (whom I have no control over) involved with that. The room for disappointment for a failed desire is HUGE!

If I don’t make one of my goals, it’s on me, and I regroup and figure out how to get back on track to make the goal. But if something I desire falls through, there is really nothing to do but feel bad. About something I had no control over. And that failed desire can negatively impact my ability to achieve my goals.

So, after this long talk with myself, we’ve decided to focus on goals (the setting and reaching of them) and avoid desire. If I want something to happen (such as a book contest) I need to make it a goal to meet the criteria to submit the book (my steps, my goal)—THEN forget about it.

I have a feeling this is going to be a work in progress ;).

What about you? How do you deal with goals and desires?

Happy IWSG day!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Titles, what are they good for?

I thought I’d bring up something I’ve always found interesting- book titles.

Some authors have all their titles set up before they dive in, series titles, individual book titles, etc. Yeah, me not so much ;).

My first series (which might come out some day- it's not my first ever book --which no longer exists ;)) is the Chaos series...yeah, doesn't really have a name. But the books do: Essence of Chaos, Division of Chaos, and Destruction of Chaos. Sort of a story arc in title form. Chaos in this world refers to magic and those titles fit.

The Lost Ancients series started out with a very long title for the first book: The Glass Gargoyle of The Last Elven King. Yeah, that got axed. I trimmed the title for an event before I published and realized that worked much better--and shows up in a thumbnail for the cover much better ;). The rest of the books all are named after other relics. The series name was just something quick to gather all the books--and the whole series does revolve around those long lost ancient folks ;). The faeries wanted to call it the drunken faery chronicles, but I out voted them.

The term Asarlaí is an Irish term that means sorcerer, wizard, or magician. I was looking for a term like that, and I liked the way the word looked. The accent over the ‘I’ is a pain as I have to adjust it everywhere I mention the series ;). (Note—might want to stay away from accented words ;))

The titles in the series are Warrior Wench, Victorious Dead, and Defiant Ruin. I wanted titles that were short and could hold double meaning. All three titles are names of  space ships in the books, and they also speak to what’s going on in the series.

My main character Vaslisha Tor Dain is not someone who would take being called a Wench lightly, but with a ship of that name it does happen. Victorious Dead concerns not only the name of her beloved ship, but people lost in the first book. Defiant Ruin sort of explains what happens when everything in the Galaxy goes to hell in a handbasket.

The steam punk that will be out later this year, is an open ended series-- not in a set number of books. I only have one title set so far—book one: A Curious Invasion. I wanted something again fairly short, but also that fight with the whimsy of a lighter steam punk (and there is an alien invasion as well ;)).


I see my titles as important as the cover in setting my brand. As a reader I enjoy books in a series that share a style of title. Adds to the cohesiveness for me.


What about you? What are your feelings about titles—both for series and for specific books?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Contest and STUFF!

Okay, first off- go over to my author FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/marieandreaswriter/
and enter this week's "PRIZE-O-RAMA":

In honor of The Glass Gargoyle being out and about for TWO years as of last month- I’m going to have “Prize-O-Rama” Fridays for the entire month of April!
What are prize-o-rama Fridays, you ask?
It’s a chance for you—and I’m talking to YOU—to win prizes!
Each Friday this month, I’ll throw down the gauntlet and list a prize or two. Comment ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE ONLY!!! and you get one entry! The Monday after I’ll randomly draw the winner (so folks have the entire weekend to enter- you can even tag friends in the comments and if they enter as well- YOU get an extra entry!)
This week we’ll have two prizes- comment which one you’d like- or BOTH if you want to be entered in both of them. (Due to shipping costs, if someone outside of the US wins, I’ll have to have an alternative prize : (.)
1) Print copy – your choice of any of my five books- signed! (*non-US would be an ecopy)
2) A Teavana e-gift card for $15! (This is TEA folks ;))

************DON'T ENTER THE CONTEST HERE- YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR IT TO COUNT************

Secondly- The Sapphire Manticore is an April TOP PICK from RT Booklovers! Check out what kind things were said- then check out the book ;). https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/sapphire-manticore

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

IWSG#Overwhelmed

Welcome to another monthly run of the world famous--Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Writers from across the lands join in arms and celebrate, freak out, whathaveyou, about their condition (aka being writers). JOIN US!


Today I'd like to briefly ramble about being overwhelmed--and the constant battle to not end up that way ;).

Being a writer is HARD-people only do it because they honestly can't figure out a way not to. And it seems that every time I turn around there is yet one more, "THIS will make you successful" miracle program out there.

But, guess what? Writing has always been hard. Even way back in the pulp fiction 50's. Most folks weren't making a living at writing novels then either. And I'm sure there were wheelers and dealers ready to help them out then too.

These programs, people, strange things that hit you at 3 am as to why you're not as successful as you should be, can overwhelm you.

They suck away the joy.

Writing is hard. Yes, we're like addicts looking for our next fix of words on the page. But it is also a joy. It's amazing, beautiful, and a gift. When we're overwhelmed by all the ways we need to make ourselves successful, we lose the joy.

If we work to grab onto the joy, remind ourselves how awesome it is that we do what we do (not if we're making a living--but that we DO IT), guess what happens? The joy shoves aside the feeling of being overwhelmed. We do what we can to get our words out there--but first and foremost, we have to hang onto our joy at writing.

Happy IWSG Day!  Go hug a writer!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Contest winners!

Last Friday, I was part of a book launch party for my writer friend, Andy Peloquin. I told folks I'd post winners today.

Here they are!

Chandra Trulove Fry- 2 free ebooks from either of my series and $5 Star bucks card
 Rainne Atkins- Lost Ancients ebook  and $5 Star bucks card
 Philipp Kessler Warrior Wench ebook and $5 Star bucks card
Amanda Beth Steele – free ebook- choice- and $5 Star bucks card
 Shekeilah Besay Angawa- free Lost Ancients series ebook and $5 Star bucks card
 Linda ODea – free Lost Ancients series ebook and $5 Star bucks card
 Email me at Marie @marieandreas to claim!
 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Victorious Dead: COVER REVEAL!

     Last week I mentioned celebrating everything. Well, one thing that is extremely fun to celebrate is a new cover! I have a wonderful cover artist for both The Lost Ancient Series as well as The Asarlaí Wars trilogy. Aleta Rafton. And she's done it again!!!

     Even though I don’t make the covers (clearly ;)) they are part of my heart and vision. When you work with a professional cover designer—a good one—you give an idea of what you’re thinking.  Aleta will ask the genre, what the character looks like, costuming, ideas on setting, weapons, etc. They give some roughs, you pick, choose, and add changes until it becomes part of the book itself. It is the face of your book and you have to do all you can to make it look great and represent the book. Not everyone will love it. But, not everyone will love the books either ;).



I am proud to present the cover for the second Asarlaí Wars book—Victorious Dead.



Estimated publication- Summer 2017.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrate EVERYTHING

Writing is hard--life is hard. So many times both in writing and in life, we don't celebrate our accomplishments. Either we feel they are too small ("No one would celebrate THAT, I'm not famous yet after all.") or feel it's bragging- and we all know we're not supposed to do that ;).

I'm here to say that no accomplishment is too small to be celebrated--even if it's only in our own head. And it's not bragging to tell people you've hit a personal goal for yourself. We should always celebrate each others' accomplishments.

We worry too much about our end goal, how we can get where we want to finish up. Why? An end goal is just that, an end. It's the journey that we take to get there, with all the bumps, dumps, and jumps we go through along the way that we should focus on.

I've mentioned before I see a ladder as my writing career journey. The top is lost far above me, and the bottom as well. But each accomplishment I've made: starting a book, finishing a book, letting people read a book, publishing, sales, signing events, rankings--all of those are rungs I've climbed. 

Whatever happens with my end goal, those rungs will always be there. My lost in the clouds goal might be different than what I think it is now. I might never get where I dream to be. BUT, those rungs are mine. I climbed them. I celebrated them.

Enjoy the journey, celebrate your accomplishments and those of folks around you.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

#IWSG- NEVER GIVE UP!

Welcome all, to another monthly round up of writers hopping about from blog to blog!  Also known as the Insecure Writers Support Group blog day! Join us!    http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html



Today there was a question proposed of digging out really old work and what did you do with it. Well, I have been writing a VERY long time, so I have a lot of old work lingering about.

My very first book will never see the light of day (seriously- don't even know where it is) but over the years I have stolen names and characters from it for other books.

However, a not quite as old book has definitely made a splash. Warrior Wench was written over six years ago folks. I had planned to publish it after The Lost Ancients series finished, but got it out there earlier. It's done very well in sales and professional and fan reviews. I'm not saying that to brag--I still am nowhere near quitting my day job, but just to point out that you should never give up on a work you've done. 

Find your older pieces--can they be buffed up and put out as they are with some editing and spit shine? Or should you rip the pieces apart and pick out elements for other work?

Nothing should ever be wasted :).

Happy IWSG DAY! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Just Do IT

Yeah, yeah, yeah--there's some sort of sports product that says that as well.

Just do it.

Now, the slogan is referring to getting out there and taking on the world in sports--providing you wear their gear ;).  I'm stealing it as a life quite (borrowing...only borrowing ;)).

Most of us live in a state of longing, "Life would be better IF...." fill in the blank: I could lose the weight, I made more money, I had a bigger house, better job, was better at betting on the ponies. A lot of these "IF"s revolve around things we'd like to do--but can't (usually because of time). Write a book. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Pretty much it's a bunch of hooey. 

In the first grouping, those things aren't going to make you a happier person by themselves. You might have more things, but if your happiness is only based on external items or actions or perceptions of others--you are always going to be chasing the next thing. Gotta come from inside YOU or you'll never have enough to be happy.

The second group, the "I wish I had time to....." are also hooey. Massive Hooeyness.

We all have the same amount of time, and most of us are far more busy than we'd like. Yet, somehow we all think WE'RE far busier than everyone else and that's why we can't just do it--just go for our dreams.

Grand master hooey of epic proportions!

If you want to do something, you find the time. I've said it here many many times, but it needs repeating (as I again had someone say, "I wish I had time to write."). You make time, you find a way, you do whatever needs to be done to get your vision, your words, your WORLDS out there. Doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything that your heart needs. While I have not, nor do I want to--ever-- climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, my sister has. She's also gone to Antarctica and even kayaked there--why? Because she wanted to! 

You MAKE IT HAPPEN. Don't give into fear (Chuck Wendig talks about fear far better- and with more swear words-than I can- http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/02/21/writers-are-best-when-theyre-always-on-the-edge-of-failure/).

This is your life, if it speaks to you, find a way.

Just do it! And along the way, celebrate all the steps of the journey :).


PLUG! Okay, so in just doing it, I have ended up with a great book release party at the most awesome bookstore in the land, Mysterious Galaxy! http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/marie-andreas-signs-san-diego



AND if you can't be there- up through the 24th- you can order a signed and personalized copy and have it mailed to you! 

http://www.mystgalaxy.com/upstream-our-universe-marie-andreas




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#IWSG- Where do we go from here?

Welcome to another monthly installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group. A band of intrepid writers from across the land who gather monthly to share, hopes, dreams, and fears.

Join us! http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html



I've been thinking about the next step for my writing career. Just writing isn't enough, we also need to be marketing, be worried about ROI above all, and monetarily break up our time (so we know how much we're losing by doing certain things instead of others). There's also trying to figure out how to make ads and newsletters. 

It seems like everywhere I turn, there is something else that "must" be done. You HAVE to have a blog OR you shouldn't have a blog-it takes away too much time and therefore not a good ROI. I feel that at any moment someone is going to come up and tell me the secret to being a successful author is to be able to rub my tummy while patting my head and chewing gum.

AKA- there is ALWAYS something else to do to succeed (beyond writing ;)).

I'm all for goals, and yes, I would love to make more money at my writing--but it seems that as of late I've been spending too much energy on all of that. Or at least trying to figure that all out.

I need to find a way to balance, to move my career forward, but not lose what I love to do. If anyone out there has some clues to obtaining that balance, please share!

Happy IWSG Day!




Monday, January 30, 2017

CONTEST!

Hi folks!

For one week, and one week ONLY, you have a chance to win over 45 SF/space opera ebooks! Including Warrior Wench! AND a grand prize of a KINDLE FIRE!

Head on over and enter now, there are some awesome looking reads in this group:   bit.ly/scifi-adventures



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why I Write

I am lucky enough to belong to a number of writing groups and count many very talented writers as my friends. Being around all these writing folks has made to look at why we write. Why I write.

I've realized that just as no two writers write the same, no two writers write for the same reason.

Some of the groups I'm in are all writers-aka non-genre specific. So I see many of the "meaningful writers" on some of these groups, authors who write to make an impact, to change the way people feel about something, or express a deep secret of the human condition. They write heavier works with great depth.

Even though I hold a Master's degree in psychology, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are more business oriented. They love to write, but to be honest, the bottom line is more important. "Don't write the book of your heart, write what will sell." It's numbers and building a business for them.

Even though I deal with numbers all day during my day job, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are story tellers. They just love to find out what is going to happen to these made up people in their made up worlds just as much as any story they read--only in this case, if they don't write it, there won't be a story.

This is the type of writer I am. I am interested in the human condition, obviously, but I use it more as an accent for my stories, "What would someone feel if this happened to them?". Writing is a business for me, but the business aspect is second to the heart of it. I decided to go Indie after years of "Loved it, BUT--" rejections so I COULD get the stories of my heart out--not so I could become rich. Would I love to make enough to support myself without my day job? Of course I would. But it's a difficult road for any writer, and if I were writing stories that didn't speak to me--I'd stop within a few weeks.

I'm posting this for the other writers and creative folks out there. There are different paths for each person. And along the way other folks might try to nudge you to their side, to become like them and share their path.

Think long and hard before you do that--make sure it's where your heart is. There are no wrong paths, just paths that might not be the best for you.