Shhh, I’m working…

Shhh, it's a secret...

I’m working on a secret project that I really hope goes well… It’s for me and in the hopes that I can advertise better.  Right now it’s eating up my time.  I guess really I’m working on two secret advertising projects. I’m also trying to improve my art skills.  I don’t know if that can be done but I have a few new toys and I know I rock like no other with stick figures… well, maybe not as awesome as JC Little or a few others but hey I can do stick like people ok enough . 😛
Anyway, my editing is moving along. Two of my betas for book two asked if I can give it to them a week later than plan.  This worked out just right for me because I was rushing myself to get it done sooner.  I just wanted one extra week and BOOM I got it! The other beta had no issue about waiting.  I’ve still been wondering how many people other authors use as betas.  This will be my first run ever wih betas and I’m very nervous about it.
My new computer is great. Only issue is I still need to sort through and move over my junk. I have about ten outlined, half written, or all the way written blogs on it. My old computer isn’t wireless and had to be moved into another room while I slowly go through all of everything.  Some of its pictures, double pictures, cropped pictures, old documents, old school papers, to-do lists, blog stuff, book stuff, music, videos, and you name it and I pack-ratted it on to my old ‘puter.
Also in two months I will have been doing this blog for two years and I don’t know if I should be doing anything for that date… we shall see if I have time and can come up with anything. 😉  I’m super, crazy, stupid, busy right now and I still need to clean out the garage. Well, I’m off to go do something secret… Shhh…

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My strongest weakness…

Advertizing ideas…

I stink… no let’s face it; I suck at selling my book.  I can talk another person’s book up to perfection and sale it.  Some books I can do that with that I have never even read.  I used to all the time, that was my job at B&N.  It’s why I was moving up so quickly.  Yes, I did read a number of them but not all of them.  I had the experience from the years in the library to look at a person, talk to them for a few minutes, and give them a book that was made just for them.  Moms that had sons that would never read would come back, thank me for giving them just the right book, and ask for more.  I can’t tell you how many unwanted hugs I was given working there, but I still can’t sell my book.  I know it better than any other, but I still can’t sale my book.  I feel like a street walker when I try.  Please, don’t take that wrong those of you who can.  I have witnessed hundreds of people sale their book with class, grace, style, and a lovely smile, but I still can’t sale my book.  I’ve thought about giveaways but it frightens me… I could do it, but I truly want everyone to win.  I want everyone to smile and be happy with the outcome.  So people of the blog reading world, how do you sale your books without feeling like you’re selling yourself?

Trying to avoid those little things in life…

We all have people we want to avoid.  Sometimes we get lucky and they want to avoid us too. Other times those little pests search us out, they like to crawl under our skin, stalk us, lie in wait and attack.  These vermin can be from all walks of life.  They can be old friends, ex’s, neighbors, family members, or people we’ve never met in person but we all have them.  Being in a world were advertising on the web is the best way to have sales, and make friends, makes us all more vulnerable to these little pests finding us, stalking us, and damaging us.  Even sadder still, there are reasons we avoid them… usually they clash with who we are, what we do, the things we like, and sometimes we clash because their end goal is to hurt us in many ways.  If no one can tell I have one.  I do all I can to avoid them, but they have been hurting the family that I love with my more personal posts.  So I am writing this because I really like my readers, my fellow authors, and my new found friends but I am going to be more cautious.  I’m going to blog less about my personal life.  I’m going to not share so much on Twitter and FB either.  I am going to study the people I chat with a little more carefully before I get to that level of chatting.  This is all in the hopes that they will leave me in peace.  Because peace is all I want and all I have ever tried for.   I enjoy you my friends, my author family, and I am sorry I never wanted to have to do this.  I never wanted them to have this control.

Characters, my favorite part of the book…

Characters make the story, at least for me they do.  Everyone comes up with different ways to write them. Sometimes they are like Frankenstein’s monster with their bits and pieces from old friends, a cluster of flaws from people we know to make a neurotic creature, or maybe we borrowed little morsels of cuteness from a few crushes of the past to make our dream love come to life.  No matter how they’re made though they have to start with something, some idea of what’s needed, what makes them tick?  It’s the author’s job to know that and work it all out.

I love dark hair with blue eyes.  I think it’s dreamy.  My husband has near black hair and sky blue eyes.  I love his eye color.  Anyway, I’ve found that I wrote a book with way too many ‘good looking’ people.  My biggest villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my other villain, dark hair with blue eyes, my hero, longer dark hair with blue eyes, one of my main ladies, dark hair with blue eyes.  I’m going to have to give one or two of them brown eyes.

This got me wondering about how everyone else sits down to make their characters.  I feel that this is one of my biggest strong points in a story.  I’m bad at scenery, but great at the ‘people’.  I start with my idea. Then I draw (a poor sketch): One of a close up and one of them standing.  They are either standing next to a ruler or a tree to give me an idea of their height and girth.  My art could be better, but I’m an artist of words, not an artist of pictures.  On the opposite side of the paper I have a character sheet.  For those who are unfamiliar with what that is: it’s a page where info such as age, height, weight, hair color, personality flaws, rich or poor, and so on are written down.  For me the detail all depends on how important the individual is in the story, that’s how I decide how much info they are given.  For important ones I give them four to six pages and both drawings, for less important ones, two pages and one (maybe two) with very sloppy sketches, for a one time encounter just one sheet with the bone basic info.  I keep all of these in a binder just for that book. I save it, and if needed, I rewrite repeat characters from the series, put it in the folder for the next book, and write in the changes.  I use birth year and date, not age.  Ages change even with immortals so dates act best.  Also, I have found that to give them more flaws and personalities I’ll give them a little history, even if it’s not told in the book.  I feel this helps to add depth.  This is also if I ever need a little more of a reference to the individual, it’s there.  One of my characters is gay.  I don’t think it will ever come out but he just is. I need that info when I work with him so he never looks at the ladies.  Two of my characters are 1/2 brothers that are very close and one of them had a mother who was a slave, the other mother was sickly. I need this so I know why and how they both might feel in certain situations.  We never read more than one line about Mary’s sisters, but in my binder their age differences, married family, and such are written down just for reference.

I would love to hear (read) other ideas for characters and if you have any tips for landscape details, besides just visualizing, please, please, PLEASE share.