Monday, February 23, 2009

Pleasanton, California

I spent last week with a group of writers who were working on elevating their stories to breakout novel status. It was quite inspiring to see artists hard at work. In addition to helping them with their stories, I did some work planning a proposal for Book 3 in the Southern Witch Series.

Pleasanton, California where we stayed was lovely. Main Street has the look and feel of an older era. (I wish I had taken a picture of it to show you. The one above just shows wonderful fall color.) Anyway, I couldn't help but wonder if the creators of the movie Pleasantville (which I loved) had been to Pleasanton for inspiration.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In search of Mellisa...

A reader named Mellisa just contacted me through my website, but the replies I've tried to send keep bouncing. 

Mellisa, if you happen to see this, please contact me again via the website or in the comments section of this post. I wonder if you may have typed your e-mail address in wrong.

Hoping to connect,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You know a road trip's going to be legendary when...

"Start every day with a smile and get it over with." W.C. Fields

So, I'm just back from Austin, and you know a road trip is going to be legendary when the road tries to kill you twice, but despite everything you get to hang with a friend, visit other writers, and buy treats from a silver trailer with a rotating cupcake on top.

I dragged my friend (and fabulous YA author) Tera Lynn Childs with me out of town. I went there to do a presentation for a group of writers (which was great fun, by the way) and managed to (a) blow out a tire (I swear that curb came out of nowhere!) and (b) navigate in the dark through a torrential downpour. With my windshield wipers whipping back and forth, I could barely see through the sheet of rain. It was quite scary. Luckily, Tera and I did a great job pretending that nothing was amiss while my poor convertible which was rolling on three regular wheels and a spare nearly got washed away.

Anyway, I'm safely home in Houston, and the carrot cupcake was delicious. Despite our lives being in peril, I think Tera and I would go back to Austin in a heartbeat. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

If it's Monday, this must be Houston...

Good morning, world!

There was a famous tour book called, "If it's Tuesday, this much be Belgium," and that's how my life feels right now. What day is it? Where's my boarding pass? LOL It's fun, if a little dizzying.

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend. I went home to Michigan and had a fantastic signing at Borders in Taylor. (I'm going to write a full post about that in a few days.) Today, I've got to finish keying in the proofreading changes to Barely Bewitched and then I have to prepare for a lecture that I'm giving in Austin. Wanted: one personal assistant with a stack of Post-its who knows the way to my favorite coffee shops. I can't pay much, but I promise to be a cheerful boss. ;)

Anyway, I thought I'd leave you with a quote...

"I believe my music is the healing music. I believe my music can make the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf and dumb hear and talk, because it inspires and uplifts people. It regenerates the ears, makes the liver quiver, the bladder splatter, and the knees freeze." Little Richard

I'm not sure that having my "bladder splatter" would constitute "musical healing", but I like his energy and his confidence. Let's all pretend we're Little Richard today and go out to conquer life. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Michigan Book Signing!

February 7th, 2009
1:30 pm - Presentation for Writers
2:00 pm - Would-Be Witch Book Signing Event
Borders at Southland Mall
Taylor, MI 48180
(734) 374-5345

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sometimes it's difficult to see the sun...

"If you're going through hell, keep going!" Winston Churchill

A friend's husband is laid off and money is tight for their family, so I know that, though she doesn't say so, she must be stressed. Another friend of mine who desperately wants to be a published writer got a rejection letter from an agent that she had believed was going to take her on as a client, and the frustration reduced her to tears.

When people are going through difficult times, I really wish life was a book where an author, namely me, could hand out happy endings in the span of 304 pages. I wish their troubles were dragons that I could slay. But, of course, reality is a different beast.

So here are some things to think about...

JK Rowling had lost her mother and was a broke single mother herself when she wrote a story about an orphan named Harry Potter.

Walt Disney was fired from a job for lack of imagination.

Honda, as a small unknown inventor, started small repair shops. Both times they were bombed to dust by Allied Forces. He pawned his wife's jewelry to start a business that would later be destroyed. He collected scrap materials to get enough money to build a new factory. The building was decimated by an earthquake.

Lucille Ball was kicked out of drama school and told she was wasting her time.

During his life, Abraham Lincoln went bankrupt, couldn't get into law school, lost his fiancee, and had a nervous breakdown that kept him in bed for six months. He was also defeated in eight elections before he became president.

So when times are rough, remember there's always hope for a better tomorrow...

Rock Star Moment...

(Holy Cow!) Last night was my first ever bookstore signing. Many of my colleagues and friends turned out, as well as members of the Murder By the Book reading community. As I began talking about Would-Be Witch, I realized that every chair was full and that some people were standing. (Standing room only?!) It was surreal.

People asked questions; friends later told me that I answered them all articulately and seemed to be in my element. Honestly though, I don't remember a lot of what was said during that part. What I remember--what I'm sure I'll remember for the rest of my life--was how much energy there was in the store. It was mind-boggling in the very best sense of the word.

I had a line of people waiting for me to autograph their books. (A line?!) One lovely reader invited me to stay with her if I come to Galveston to do research for any later books in the series. And I thought...I may just take her up on that offer. That sounds like a lot of fun to me. (I have readers? I can be their houseguest?!)

The after party at my friend Elizabeth's was a great celebration, too. I can't say how touched I was to have so many friends come out to support me and to share in my joy, both at the bookstore and at the party. And I realize that this was not a typical signing experience for a debut author, but in a perfect world, it would be.

So now I'm working on my Book 2 revisions surrounded by flowers and cards and bottles of champagne that people brought last night, and I still can't believe it all. I was CinderKimber at the ball, having my rock star moment, and in terms of memories, it doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feeling like an author - PART 2

Murder By the Book
6:30 pm

2342 Bissonnet St.
Houston, Texas
(713) 524-8597

I'll be talking about & signing copies of Would-Be Witch!

(And this weekend...I'll be signing in Taylor, Michigan. Then next month, I'm coming to Katy, Texas! You can see all my events on my calendar, under the miscellaneous tab on my website!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Would-Be Witch is out today!!!

Would-Be Witch is finally in stores!!!

To celebrate how about a preview...
of the Southern Witch Series's Book 2 Cover?

Kissing the Suspect Release!

Chapter 1 Callie Melville was wanted by the law, but to put it that way made things sound worse than they were. She hoped. The rumors...