The Numbers

I’m late, I know. I promised New Year’s Eve and it’s New Year’s morning. Still, I do have something for you to show you that my life is not all bloggy goodness. It’s a bunch of numbers. The numbers represent what I did as an author in the last year.

They are an interesting lot these numbers. They are the reason I often don’t blog more than once a week. They are the reason I sometimes have more money in my pocket. They are the reason I’m actually kinda sorta managing to send Motley (Nikki) to art college.

I’m going to post the link to a blog post that talks about the numbers. I’m not going to talk about them in quite the same way here in this post. The link I’m giving you really explains the numbers and talks a little about how much promotion I had to do to sell all the books I’ve sold, gives you an idea of the number of books I’ve sold, and talks a little about how much money I’ve made. It is an interesting post if you want see whether all the time I spent was worth it or if you’re interested in being an author yourself.

So here’s the post: A Year in the Life.

And here’s the numbers:

Submissions: 17

Contracts: 17

Releases: 15

Print books: 3

Rejections: 3

Revise and Resubmits: 2

Anthologies: 3

Short Stories: 8

Novellas: 6

Novels: 2

Bestsellers: 4

Publishers: 8

Radio Interviews: 3

Feature Author Spot: 1

Interviews: 13

Guest Blog Posts: 15

Two things happened after I posted this on the 30th.  On New Year’s Eve, I discovered that Christmas Catch hit All Romance eBooks’ main top ten bestseller list. It was the ninth biggest seller over the past three days.  Making that list is a big thing.  This morning, it’s moved up to number eight. Definitely WOOT worthy.

The other thing that happened hit me in a way that touched on every facet of who I am. Not just Lex Valentine the author but Winter the person.  One of the most respected review sites posted a list for 2009. Now, back in September they posted a list, compiled by recommendations from the readership of the site, of the all time best gay books. Fire Season was on it and I was stoked. The list posted yesterday was the owner’s own top ten best of 2009 list.

Now, Wave is well known in the reviewing community and in the GLBT writing world. It’s almost as if you’re golden if Wave likes your book. When Wave reviewed Fire Season earlier in the year, you could tell she really liked it. But then she posted her list yesterday and I discovered she REALLY LOVED Fire Season. My book was number nine on her list.

I got really excited seeing that. Then I looked at the list of her honorable mentions and this huge sense of awe came over me. Some of the best and biggest names in GLBT romance fiction were on that list of honorable mentions. And she liked Fire Season more.  I can’t remember when I’ve been more awestruck.  My little dragon book beat out Victor J. Banis,  Z.A. Maxfield,  James Buchanan, and my publisher Laura Baumbach? I could barely believe it.

As an author, my chest puffed out. Egads, what an accomplishment to close out the year! As a person, it brought tears to my eyes.  Recognition is important to all humans. I’ve not really received much recognition for anything in my life. After ten and a half years at my company I got the Employee of the Quarter award in December. One of my co-workers was amazed that I’ve never won this award before. In fact, she was shocked I’ve never won the Employee of the Year. Her shock actually meant a lot more to me than actually winning an award. It meant that someone recognized how much I do there. Then to make this top ten list… What a way to close out 2009.

Being recognized for what I do means a lot to me. It makes those numbers truly mean something. It acknowledges the sacrifices I’ve made.  It helps gives me a sense of worth. And even though I’m broke and in debt this New Year’s Day, I still feel a bit bright and sparkly from the recognition with my achievements sitting out there for the world to see and some of my longest held personal goals finally met.

It’s a new year and because of the recognition I’ve received, my outlook is more positive than it’s been in years. Instead of wondering how I’ll ever be able to match or top what I did in 2009, my thoughts flow along a positive line that hums with energy. How big can I dream? How much can I accomplish this year? And where the hell is my coffee? I need to get started!

Wishing you and yours a happy, productive, and prosperous New Year.

Rain Game

Today, I get to play the Rain Game.  Yes, the rain has finally hit SoCal. And I have a shredded wiper blade and bent wiper arm. So Rott gets to take me to work in the SUV, put the Intrepid in the garage, and change the blades.  Or he can just take me to work every day that it rains. Makes no difference to me. The SUV is a lot nicer than the Dodge that’s for sure. Strangely enough, Rott does like the Dodge. He swears it saved his life once cause it has so much power. Men are sometimes easily pleased. 🙂

I’ve had several things I’ve been working on this past weekend. I completed a website for author Regina Carlysle, bought some sim game credits so I can breed over my multiple stakes winner Smooth Belief, did some promo for Ride the Lightning, bought promo items, and just about finished Christmas in Hell. I wuz bizzy!

I can’t wait to get my hands on the promo stuff. If you want a holiday card from me (well, Lex really) email me with your snail mail addy. Either lex at lexvalentine dot com or winter at winterheart dot com.  I’ll be sending out Ride the Lightning magnets and Mating/Runaways book cards too. I never knew being an author meant getting to know the USPS personnel so well.

Tonight is a new Jester Show with Dave2. I can hardly wait! I love Jester and his show is always hugely entertaining. It’s even more entertaining when Dave is on. They are an unbeatable combo. If you get the chance, you should definitely tune in. Just be careful about eating and drinking while listening. *wink*

JesterRadio2

Before I head out to play the Rain Game (aka musical cars in the rain) I need to post my regular Monday Marcus. I have to admit to having looked a lot of naked cowboys lately. Marcus is not much of a cowboy sadly. But I needed inspiration while writing Christmas in Hell and naked cowboy cock seemed to do the trick. So to make up for my lack of loyalty I’m posting a Marcus photo I’ve posted before, but always looks good!

markus011

I think this is about as close as I’m gonna get to a Marcus cowboy look. LOL Still it’s a nice looking horse and a gorgeous Marcus. What more do I need on a Monday?

All of you have a great day and take it easy out there in the winter weather!

wintersig

Boo Who?

I can’t remember the last time I dressed up for Halloween.  Actually, maybe I can.  It was 20 years ago. I was pregnant and sick. I had a boyfriend who wasn’t being very nice to me. Okay, he was borderline abusive. I lived in a house with a bunch of other people who freaked me out. Slept on a mattress on the floor… It was a sucky existence.

So one of the roomies came home from work and discovered it was my birthday. (She was a truck driver, not that it matters to the story, just thought I’d toss that in.) She decided we would go trick-or-treating to celebrate. She took one of the other roomies sheets (They didn’t get along) and cut out eyeholes. Dropped one sheet on me, the other on herself. Voila! Costumes!

Okay, so picture this… one 6 foot tall, female ghost in a floral patterned sheet that only reached to her knees. You could totally see her jeans and work boots. The other ghost in a pale blue sheet, short and kinda pregnant, sheet dragging the ground a bit. (I had to hold it up or I woulda tripped.) Both of us holding plain plastic grocery bags, knocking on doors, ringing doorbells all up and down the block in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood.

OMG. Did they laugh their asses off at us. They called to their other family members to come and see the grande ghosts. They took our effing picture! They were more than generous with their candy. Carla and I had about 5 pounds of the best candy ever… each! Full size candy bars even! Gawd it was awesome for all it was so embarrassing.  I almost wish I had a photo of it now. ALMOST.

I want to thank everyone for writing on my wall at Facebook, for the emails and twats and IMs, for the posts (luv ya Mojo!), snail mail cards, ecards, presents in the mail, and every other kind of Happy Birthday I’ve received. Usually, my birthday passes in a haze of work, but this year (the year before the big Five Oh) seems to be different. I even got some royalties last night! Woot! (Thanks, Marci!)

I still don’t feel like tweaking on the blog to put up the Halloween theme. I am still on a deadline and I left Vahid about to have sex and Dave worried off his ass while watching hot submissive chicks in skimpy outfits get spanked.  Before I leave though, I will put up one Halloween picture. Many thanks to Dave for actually giving the Throbbing Vampire Cock a face. Every Halloween should have a little TVC. It’s just the best costume ever to be a dick that sucks you!

ThrobbingVampireCock

Go forth and get goodies everyone! I command you to have a Happy Halloweenie! It is MY BIRTHDAY WISH that you do! MUAH!

wintersig

Cruising & Guesting

I know I’ve been MIA. I’m sorry. The power supply went out on my desktop and apparently it had been shorting out for awhile unnoticed. It tweaked a lot of stuff on its way out and I ended up having to reformat my hard drive AGAIN. This has been the 3rd time in 2 years. I’m so not happy. I do have Mozy backups of stuff so I mostly didn’t lose things, but I’m having issues restoring my email and I think I’ve lost it all which is really a serious thing because I’ve got fulls and partials of submissions for Freya’s Bower and Wild Child Publishing there.

I need some kind of new system with email I think. Or I need to reassess how I’m doing my Mozy backups. I should have been able to restore the folders and emails. No dice so far. Anyone who is good with Outlook (an old version) care to try? I could use the help. I’m at wits end here.

Anyway, I’m not really here today. I’m guest blogging at my pal Selena’s talking about length. Click the link and come by. You’re more than welcome to disagree with me about length. Hee hee.

Selena Illyria’s Blog

Rott and I went on a late night run for Mexican food last night. Ahh. Cruising in the SUV. Ten pm on a Saturday night, the county is clogged with traffic because the fair is going on. We went all the way to Alberto’s in Fountain Valley and found… a line out the parking lot onto the street. Seems Alberto’s is very popular late on a Saturday night. Rott got a little turned around going home. I can’t say I blame him. I never go there so I didn’t think he was doing wrong either. We weren’t lost or anything. We just took the wrong freeway exit – south instead of north.

I gotta say, I wasn’t all that unhappy with the wrong turn despite the fact that it frazzled Rott’s nerves. (He doesn’t like to do stuff wrong. And like me, he never gets lost. So the wrong exit thing kinda upset him.) The wrong turn meant we got to drive longer. For me it had a twofold plus, one I got to spend more time with Rott. I love watching him drive. Always have. I love his hands and forearms so watching him steer and shift has always been a secret pleasure of mine.

The second thing that was cool was getting to ride in the truck. It’s a really nice SUV. Infiniti Q45. It’s not a stick so no shifting like in his Prelude, but it’s a seriously nice ride. He was finding it to be a pain in the ass because he couldn’t just zip around the freeway and change lanes like he used to. It bothered him that the blind spot was so huge and you have to rely on your mirrors a lot more and be more cautious changing lanes. It’s an adjustment and last night it added to his frazzled nerves. Still, for me anyway, it was a nice outing. Upped my hope level that maybe things can be worked out.

Hopefully, I can find my Marcus photos and get a Monday Marcus up. At the very least, he’ll back the following week. I think I know where the images are. Meanwhile, have a great Sunday!

wintersig