One Down More To Go

I finished the expansion and revision of Mating yesterday. I was so glad to have it done! Now, I’ve just got a partial to finish, my Father’s Day story and Fire Storm. I honestly can’t wait to get back to the Darkworld. I’ve missed it while writing all these contemporaries. But Runaways is out now (came out on Friday) and I’m sure Mating won’t be too far behind now that the hard part is done.

Writing has been going smoothly for the most part, if a little slow. Being tired a lot has slowed down the process for me. I’m still doing cover art, videos and now promo graphics for ads. And an occasional website. I’m about to start one for author Tim McGiveny. I’ve been looking at templates for his and I think I’ve got one he’ll like so it’s time for me to have him get his hosting. New websites are always so exciting!

The promo ads are a new thing for me sort of. I’ve done a few in the past but now I’ve put up some samples for GayRomLit. I quickly made some examples of ads in the different sizes yesterday at Ethan Day’s suggestion. He then pimped out the link and thus far I have one bite for creating an ad! Yay!

Nikki (aka Motley) will be coming home soon and to be honest, I’m really glad about that. I could use her help with some things and I missed her this past year while she was living with a roomie. Which reminds me that I was supposed to email her a to do list because she’s going to help me whip my website into shape since I haven’t had the time to do it. My book pages are a mess.

The day job is going really well these days. I have help now (yay!) and it frees me up to do some of the things that got backburnered when we were short staffed. For one, I need to work on cleaning up some stuff in our cemetery software database. Ugh. It’s a nasty task but it needs to be done and until recently, I haven’t had the time.

Another thing I’ve been doing at work is blogging! Yes, blogging. And coordinating the blog. Finding guest bloggers can be daunting when your topic is specific. Every now and then I actually have to write a post myself. Last Friday, I did that while in the midst of an IT emergency…our internet was down! Luckily, it was the carrier so there was nothing for me to fix other than reboot the firewall. The internet was down for only an hour or so but afterward I couldn’t reach the company blog because of a router issue with the carrier. Waiting around for them to fix stuff sucked. But I finally got the blog post up at 5 pm before I went home.

So yeah, been busy. Nothing new there. LOL And now I need to head off to the office where I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’ve got a full plate for sure! First, before I leave, here’s a Marcus!

Oh, yummeh! Have great Monday!

To the Bone

I’ve been working my fingers to the bone and some of it feels like it’s for free. A bunch of cover art, a lot of writing, some website work…Enough stuff that I can’t even get to my own author website which has non-existent and messed up book pages. (I really, really need to fix that.) But there are rewards for what I do. When I write, I have releases and those bring in royalties. When I do covers, mostly I get paid right away for them, for which I am grateful because with any cover there is an outlay of money on the artist’s part to create the cover. If I spend my grocery money for the week making three covers and I don’t get paid for two weeks on them, we don’t eat. Which is why I sometimes wonder why I agreed to do some covers and be paid based how well the book sells. This goes hand in hand with why the heck I wrote a story for the M/M Goodreads group for free and why you can download Breathe Me In at All Romance eBooks tomorrow for free.

So here’s the deal. I thought I’d give the new cover thing a try because I thought it might bring my work to the eyes of other publishers and authors who are looking to self-pub and need covers.  I thought it might be a good investment in terms of getting my work in front of more people and a different audience.

The same goes for the Goodreads story. This group has nearly 6,000 members. I’m willing to bet a lot of them don’t know me and/or haven’t read my work. Doing the prompt for their Love is Always Write event is a chance for those members to get to know my work. If they like it, they could go looking for my backlist (damn, need to fix my website!) in order to find other books they might want to read.

So you could say that both ventures are an experiment. Obviously, if the cover art one doesn’t start paying out more than I’ve paid in, it won’t be a viable venture long term. I’m keeping track of what I spend and will compare it to what I make to see if this is something I should continue with. It’s only one publisher, if I decide it’s not working out, I can stop. The other publishers pay me up front, one directly via Paypal (for which I’m grateful) and the other via Paypal echecks which means I get paid in about 4 days. Sometimes the wait sucks, but at least it’s not quarterly.

With writing, you always have to wait to get paid if your publisher is a small indie press.  Sales come in and then the pubs pay out royalties (unlike the big NYC houses that pay an advance and then you have to earn that out via sales.)  I’m used to royalties trickling in from my different publishers at different times of the month. It’s cute when Rott calls me at work to tell me I got a check from “The Cave.” Some pubs pay with a check mailed to me and others via direct Paypal or Paypal echeck.

So I’m working my fingers to the bone to get all my projects done as quickly as possible. Now, that the Goodreads story is done, I’ve got to finish my expansion of Mating which shouldn’t take long. After that, I’ve got two more manuscripts to work on. One is a novella (probably about 15-20K) for MLR Press’s Father’s Day releases. It will be the last story about my pilots Sebastian and Ryder. The other manuscript is the long await sequel to Fire Season, Fire Storm. I’m so looking forward to writing Holden and Garret again.

As for really giving my work away for free…tomorrow you can get a copy of Breathe Me In for free from All Romance eBooks as part of their Earth Day celebration. I did this once before and it was great. For those of you who like the Tales series and/or like M/M books, you’ll definitely want to download this one!

Now, it’s time for a Marcus and then off to work with me.

Oh, what a yummeh Marcus! *sigh*

Have a great Monday!

Unhinged

I was writing last night and wrote the line that my hero was so overcome by his passion for the other hero that his brain had come unhinged. I think I have a little of that today. I feel brain dead for sure. I read a novel, did about a dozen covers (some mockups and some finals), did a few website graphics, and wrote a few thousand words this weekend. Oh, and we watched The Big Year. Funny movie. Really cute. Now, it’s Monday and my brain definitely feels unhinged. So I’m just gonna give you a sample of what I did this weekend, hand you off a Marcus and toddle off to my office. Since my boss didn’t call me over the weekend I guess our office pool didn’t win the MegaMillions either.

I love it when authors are easy to work with. Makes my life a whole lot easier and means I can actually do that many covers in a weekend. So kudos to everyone I’ve been working with lately!

Now, time for a retro Marcus (ie one I’ve posted before) who will guarantee that at least something will go right for me today. 😉

Here’s a little tip for some of you who like my M/M books, on April 10 All Romance eBooks will have Breathe Me In as a FREE download in honor of Earth Day. So mark your calendars and go get it for FREE! Have a happy Monday everyone!

Skinny Jeans

Singer Scott Weiland once said, “There are a limited amount of years where you can wear skinny jeans. There comes a point where whether you can or not, you shouldn’t.” I’d say that’s a pretty good rule of thumb for a lot of things in life. Some of the stuff I did regularly in my twenties and thirties are not things I’d do any longer. There’s clothes I won’t wear, behaviors I won’t indulge in. I mean, c’mon. We aren’t Peter Pan. We’re all getting older every day. At some point, we have to grow up and be responsible and do things differently than when we were twenty and carefree.

A lot of things besides skinny jeans don’t look good on someone 50 years old.  Drug addicts don’t look like they’re having fun getting high at 50. They just look desperate, unhealthy and sad. People who bed hop at 50 don’t look attractive and flirty. They look desperate, immature and self-absorbed or needy.

It funny that I saw this quote today because I’d been thinking of some of the behaviors I’ve observed in people recently. People at or near or over 40 who are still indulging in behaviors that graced their 20’s. And I was thinking it was immature of them. Yeah, once in awhile it’s okay to go to a club and hang out and get drunk and scream and yell at the band on stage. When you’re still doing that every night of the week and you’re 45, it looks kinda freakish. I mean, don’t you have to go to work the next day? Or are you still doing like you did in your 20’s, dragging into the office and sucking down Alka Seltzer with your morning coffee and wearing sunglasses at your desk with your trash can nearby in case you have to puke?

Stuff that seems to be okay to do when you’re young doesn’t seem so okay when you’re older. And if you can fit into the skinny jeans still, good for you! I’m just not sure I want to see your little 40-something bird legs in them. They just aren’t as attractive on a 45 year old man as a 25 year old one. Unless, of course, you’re Scott Weiland. Although, to be honest, even though he does still look good in the skinny jeans at his age, the drug addiction thing doesn’t go over all that well anymore. It just seems kind of pathetic and sad when he falls off the wagon. Which begs the question of how pathetic do those of us over 40 seem when we indulge in what’s considered youthful, sowing your oats behavior?

I don’t think I want to find out, so I’ll try not to indulge!

Okay, here’s a Marcus for this fine Monday morning!

Ummm. One of my favorite photos of him! I hope you all have a great Monday!

Half Full

Normally, I’m not so much a glass half full person. Especially, when something bad has happened recently. Last week, the publishing world lost a true talent. And I (along with a lot of other people) lost a dear friend. William Neale, a fellow MLR Press author, died last week of a heart attack. I won’t dress it up in pretty words – it was a huge, painful shock. I’d spoken to him only days before. We’d planned for me to do the cover and book trailer for his next release. We hadn’t gone into details other than Bill telling me again that I don’t charge enough for the work I do. Now, I wish we had gone into some details so I’d know where to start when that book does come out, posthumously.

At any rate, last week wasn’t such a good week. And then I got edits for Runaways. Well, most authors like to say that they are in “edit hell” when they are working on edits. I’m not one of them. I look at edits as a glass half full, in direct opposition to how I usually see things. Edits are an opportunity to make my work better. I have three really amazing editors who take very good care of me and help me polish my work to the perfection that you see (at least grammatically) when you buy one of my books. Kris Jacen at MLR Press, Jillian Bell at Ellora’s Cave and Mary Wilson at Pink Petal Books are my heroes. And when they send me edits I can barely contain myself.

When I see edits in my email, it’s like Christmas morning for me. I can barely wait to open them. I usually force myself to finish whatever it is I’m doing before opening the edits but I squirm in my seat the whole time I’m finishing those tasks. I always finish my edits early, mostly because I can’t stop working on them once I have them. I LOVE edits! I love seeing how the finished product will come out. And I love hearing what my editors have to say about my work.

So despite the fact that I couldn’t focus on my edits for a couple of days after Bill died, I did get my second round edits for Runaways back to Jilly this weekend. The lure of the edits called to me even in my grief. And I imagine Bill was chuckling at me the whole time. Glass half full indeed.

Now, how about a Marcus to bring some cheer to this cold spring morning?

Oh, so handsome there in formal wear. Certainly cheers my morning right up! Have a great Monday everyone!