Friday, October 9, 2015

Three Year Anniversary

Hey everyone! Today marks the three year anniversary of my first self-published book. "The Girl Whose Heart Was Too Big." This book is still by far one of my favorite stories.  

When you write a book people always seem to ask you in some form of way if the book is successful. I"m not really sure why that even matters. Truth is, you wrote a book, therefore it's already successful. You accomplished something that you put a lot of work into. Finishing a book is not easy.
If your story touches someone's heart, makes them smile or makes them cry good tears, than in my opinion, your book is successful.
It's not about how many people buy your book. It's about the connection you make with people who do buy your book.
At least, that's my opinion. When I write I try to create stories that will give more than just a story line to people. I want my stories to give lessons, and share smiles. I want to connect with each reader I have.
Success will be measured by this. If you can connect to even just one reader, you have accomplished something.
Success this way, eventually will pay off the other way. Sometimes quickly. Sometimes it could take years.
For all my fellow writers... I ask you to not judge your books by sales. Even if you are a #1 best seller or only sold one of your books so far. Just be proud of yourself no matter what. YOU are successful. You are following your dreams, and that journey is never easy. 

The reviews I have received on my first book have been so touching and inspiring. I thank everyone who has taken the time to share their opinion with me. I love hearing your thoughts. Your kind words have made me smile so much over the last three years.

To date, I think my favorite moment with this book had to be back in February of 2013 when I was asked to guest read at an elementary school for a third grade class during author week. Here I am that day:
I'm not great a public speaking and I have the worst stage fright. (Though this wasn't on a stage, it was still me standing in front of a classroom.) To say the least, I was terrified to do this reading. I was so afraid I was going to mess up, the kids were going to hate it, that I would trip and fall over my clumsy feet and become the laughing stock of the entire school. Trust me, I had a lot of discouraging thoughts racing through my head.
The teacher, however, encouraged me to do this and I am so happy I did. It only took two minutes for me to calm down. The kids were awesome and made me feel so welcome. And after I read them my story, they had so many questions about writing that I didn't even feel like I was standing in the front of the room by myself anymore.
Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to do this again.

If you haven't had the chance to read my book, click the link below. You can check out a sample of it on Amazon.

The Girl Whose Heart Was Too Big

Here is just one review- This is one really meant a lot to me.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the Simplest Books are the Best BooksAugust 14, 2014

By Kevin Gerard on August 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
After reading only a few pages of "The Girl Whose Heart Was Too Big," Shel Silverstein's classic book "The Giving Tree" popped into my mind. Carlisle's girl captures the same innocence and sincerity of the tree in Silverstein's book. Amber Ellens is completely untouched by the ugly competitiveness of our world, and freely gives anything she has away, or shares it someone who has less. The rest of the children don't understand and react accordingly, but Amber's BIG heart won't be dissuaded. She just keeps giving and sharing. It is a charming tale that will touch readers of any age.

I write fantasy novels for kids - sometimes 600 pages long - and Carlisle's book is as compelling as any with ten times the page count.

Award winning middle grade fantasy author Kevin Gerard

Thank you Kevin Gerard. And thank you again to any one that has purchased my book and taken the time to review it.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Meet Mr. Cooper

Just sharing photos of my newest love, Mr. Cooper. He's a wire-haired fox terrier. My husband surprised me with him since we just celebrated 10 years of being together. We've had Cooper for about a month now. Being a puppy mommy is exhausting, but he's worth losing sleep over. 
I just thought I'd introduce you all to the OTHER reason I hadn't been writing much last month. 

*Side note- He kind of reminds me of Scout Rollins (when he's shifted, of course) from my Emerson Fox Series. I thought about naming him that, but stuck with Cooper.*

** Oh, double side note- You all can see a glimpse of my new hair do. It's Red/Pink!**

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! Can you believe it?? I felt like this winter was going to last forever. It wasn't necessarily the cold weather, it was just this winter has been pretty rough for me and my family. I wrote to you guys in January about why I hadn't been on in awhile. The death of my grandmother in November really broke my spirit and has been hard on me. But I promised that I was still writing and that I would try to get back into the swing of things. And for a moment there, I was. Up until I lost two more beloved members of my family, very unexpectedly.
The shock still hasn't fully wore off.
I just know last month was a blur really. A very sad, blur.

I'm looking forward to Spring. I hope it brings some warmth, and sunshine. My family could use it. 2015 started off sad, and cold, but we are hanging in there, keeping our chins up as much as we can.
Some days are easier than others.
For those that have offered there condolences, thank you.
I wish all of you a happy spring too!

As for my writing, I might not have touched the keyboard last month, but I will tell you that I've been writing this past week. And they have been particularly good writing days. With the promise of warmer weather, and summer sunshine in my future, I think it's been cheering me up.

So with that said,  I will gladly tip my hat to winter, then put it away in storage.
Of course, that will have to be after tomorrow.... We are supposed to be getting snow again!

Stay warm everyone!


Monday, January 12, 2015

A new year, a new beginning!

 So much can happen in a day, let alone four months. I am aware I probably lost some followers with my lack of updating, or disappointed some fans who seriously are anticipating the release of my next book by not publishing any novels in 2014 like planned  --And to them I apologize it was not my intention ever.

However, sometimes plans don't go as scheduled, sometimes life just gets in the way. As much as "being a writer" is a big part of my heart, it isn't my career. It doesn't pay my bills.  It is something I do because I enjoy it. But as much as I love it, it doesn't take precedence over my actual job that pays the bills, or over my family, and especially over my health.

The end of the year is always busiest at my " 9-5" job- and though I normally can manage working during the day and writing at night, this past year I have unfortunately been suffering from a neck/nerve injury that has inhibited me from continuous hours of typing without bad pain and numbness in my arms. I am seeing a doctor, and hoping physical therapy will help, but right now it seems "resting" is the only sure way of feeling better. Any real writing is only getting done by a tape recorder right now. Then I have to wait to have it transferred to text. 
So, I appreciate your patience, and hope when my sequels are finally released you love them just as much as the first, and not hold this long wait against me.

And, if I am being honest with you all, I must confess that these last couple months my drive to "write" has been pretty much not existent anyway. Am I still writing, yes, through the tape recorder I am, but my heart hasn't truly been into it. The injury does have something to do with it, but mostly because apart of me is still grieving. On November 8th, my biggest writing inspiration, and my biggest fan, passed away. My grandmother wasn't just a mentor in my life, she was also my very dear friend. And I miss her contagious laugh and words of wisdom more than I can ever express in words. She was a beautiful woman, and the absolute most positive person I ever known. Because of her, I wrote my first novel. Because of her, I continued to write. So she would have something to read during chemo, and something to make her smile.  As the illness started to spread, she lost her ability to read though. Sadly, she never did get to finish my third novel. When she lost her ability to read, I lost part of my drive to write.

Writing this now, writing about her, brings tears to my eyes. A bittersweet kind. 
I hate that I have felt distant from writing, if she only knew, she'd be so upset with me. She always told me never to give up. To believe in myself because she believed in me.

Maybe walking away from writing was something I needed to do though. For me. Because since the start of the new year, I found myself being pulled back by the sudden urge to write again. But not to just write, meaning to finish so my readers can finally know the end of my series and move on and I can finally finish these open w.i.p.s.
But to write with meaning again. With purpose. With heart. 
Listening back over some of my tape recorded words, I realized I have been missing that. I didn't hear it in my story. I just heard a story. 
And I never wanted to become that writer. Who just writes stories. 
I wanted to be a writer that captured a reader and shared my imaginative world with them. A world that steals them away, and puts them right into its realm. A place a reader doesn't want to leave because they are in love with all the characters. They are friends with them. They feel for them, cry with them, laugh with them. 
I've said it before that I can't just publish something to publish it. And that's why it was taking me a while to write these sequels. I just hadn't realize how big an influence Gram really had on my writing. Yes, the stress of publishing brought me down, yes, my injury has plagued me with a lot of pain, but mostly losing Gram has broken my spirit. 
My family, who I came to for writing advice and encouragement and ideas, have all had their spirit broken this past year and my writing wasn't something I wanted to bring up. It wasn't really much of a thought at most times. 
Spending time with my family, with my Gram, remembering the last "good" moments we had with her, that's what mattered most to me(us) in 2014.
I don't regret not writing. And I'm sorry you've all had to wait. There is nothing more irritating for a reader than to start a series and then not have an ending to it. At least in my opinion. 
I am so grateful for your continued support, and that you've taken time to read my novels. I know everyone has busy lives, and deal with their own inner turmoils. So the fact you've taken time out of your busy schedules to sit down and read my books, is truly an ultimate compliment.
Hearing that you enjoyed it, just as much as I did writing it, makes that compliment even more cherished. Knowing some of you are still waiting for "what happens next" not with frustration but with the same anticipation and love, is beyond incredible. It makes all those sleepless nights and pain in my arms worth it.

I'm going to scratch a lot of what I recorded. It's not what you want to hear I'm sure. But, it needs to be done. My heart tells me so. 
Good news, I already know where I'm going with it next. Let's hope life doesn't step on my toes this time. Let's hope it gives me some time to tie up the loose laces and move a bit further on.

Here's to wishing you all a healthy, happy new year!


In memory of my grandmother.