2013: What a Year

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2013 was quite the year for me. So many great things happened and 2014 will have to bring it in order to compete. Now let me talk about some of those great things.

College Graduate

There was never any doubt that I’d earn my college degree in recent years since I planned my schedule two years in advance in order to walk across the stage in May of this year. But still, it’s difficult for me to put into words just how great that day really was. I come from a family of eight siblings, I’m the second youngest, and not one of us had been able to complete the task of earning a college degree. Until me. That in itself is something to be proud of, but I was also proud of the fact that I was able to get that degree in my hands in just three years and be the youngest student in my graduating class at 21. May 18, 2013 is a day I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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First Book

I started 2013 with two very distinct goals. The first was to graduate, which I did, the second was to get started on my first book as soon as the first goal was complete. Well, every reader of this blog knows I managed to accomplish that as well. Less than two weeks after graduating from UHD I began work on my first book. It became a five month long process that culminated in its release on October 29. I just stated above that I won’t be forgetting my graduation day any time soon, well I also won’t be forgetting the day my first book was released. Again, I struggle to put into words what it felt like to hold my own book in my hands. It was a remarkable feeling that hasn’t been tarnished by the fact that several friends and family members still haven’t read it nearly two months after its release. I WROTE A BOOK! That’s all I’m still thinking. And you all know that I’m fast at work on the second.

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One of the low points of the year has definitely been my lack of reading. In 2012 I started and finished 44 books by 17 authors. This year, if you’ve taken a look at my What I’m Reading page, you know that number fell to a miniscule 15 books. I mean, can you blame me for falling behind my reading a bit as I finished my final semester of college and wrote my first book. I’m definitely somewhat disappointed, but it’s understandable. Like many serious readers I think, I rank the books I read. Well, my favorite book that I read in 2013 was Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch #14) by Michael Connelly. It currently ranks in at #15 on my overall best books list.

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Entertainment

Those of you who read many of my blog posts know that I typically talk solely about my book and writing. Well, why not change it up for the last post of the year? My absolute favorite movie to be released could only be a literary adaptation, right? It’s easily Catching Fire. By a longshot. Something that you guys don’t know is that I am obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, I know I’m supposed to be this professional author and all of that, but she’s perfect and I’m in love. Not to mention the fact that she dominated the year.¬† She needs a Twitter so I can tweet her everyday.

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You guys also probably don’t know that I am obsessed with country music. My favorite song that was released this year was probably Beat This Summer by Brad Paisley. This was a tough call because there weren’t many songs that I REALLY liked.

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Lastly, I’d like to wish every one of you a happy new year. I’m sure it’ll be one for the record books.

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To Self Publish Again or not?

Before reading this post, I highly suggest you read my post titled Self Publishing with CreateSpace: My Experience from a little while back. In that post I offered a timeline of every aspect of the self publishing process.

Now, onto the subject matter of this one. The paperback edition of my book was released on October 29 of this year and the Kindle version soon followed on November 7. Are there things that I could have done that I haven’t to help get the word out about my book? Yes. But have I sat at home doing absolutely no promotion whatsoever and expected readers to somehow discover, buy, and read my debut novel? No.

I’ve offered the Kindle version of my book free for a total of three days since its release. Those three days alone resulted in 6737 readers downloading my book. Which is great, but the same methods that I’ve used to promote my free days have not helped me sell more books at the always affordable $0.99 price that it currently sits at. I still have my blog tour coming next month, but my sales expectations for that are no longer what they once were. I have no idea if I’ll sell any books during my three week long tour, and that’s why I’ve come to the decision that I have.

I’ve decided that I will not self publish my second book under any circumstances. All of my fellow authors know this means there’s a chance I don’t find an agent and/or publisher for my book. I’m now prepared to face that challenge because I simply haven’t been able to gain any traction with my first self published book. It’s unfortunate.

I don’t even know that I feel like an author right now. I mean, so what if I managed to string together 21 chapters and bind them together and call them a book. What’s that gotten me after five months of writing and rewriting and then two more after the book’s release? Not much.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I told you guys that I share a birthday with my fictional private eye Andrew Banks last week. Well, today’s the big day! I turn a wonderful 22 years old and Andrew celebrates his 28th birthday. How exciting is that?! I don’t have anything planned for the day other than to start work on a new chapter. What better for me to be doing?

I also finished chapter six last night. Late last night. I don’t want to reveal too many details about this particular chapter, but let’s just say that Andrew is forced into a situation in which he must do a little tackling and physical work for his client. Suffice it to say that not all of the event’s guests were on the invite list. That’s all!

So, happy birthday to Andrew Banks! And me!

It’s Andrew’s birthday….almost

That’s right, my fictional Houston area private detective’s birthday is coming up! He turns a ceremonial 28 years old on December 27! Most of you should know this because I will assume that you’ve read my book. You should if you haven’t so that you can at least celebrate him reaching his big day. It wasn’t always a sure thing once you get to reading about his first case.

Anyway, like great authors before me I’ve made the protagonist of my debut novel quite biographical. Just ask mega author Sue Grafton who Kinsey Millhone is supposed to be or ask JK Rowling if she happens to share a birthday with Harry Potter. I can’t speak as to how come these two specific authors did what they did with their protagonists, but I made Andrew Banks very like myself because I began writing shortly after graduation and had no idea if I’d even be able to write a book. So I put characteristics of myself into him. I figured it would make for an easier write and would force me to explore the reality of the characters and story I was creating. I think I was right.

In my completely unbiased opinion, I think he’s real and handles his first case in a manner that suggests he’s a rookie private detective.

So don’t join me in wishing him a happy birthday just yet! Soon!

Making the Turn

The last time I had something for you guys was some time ago and I must apologize for that. The story that I’m working on is taking a bit longer for me to develop. Remember my first book, whether you’ve read it or not, literally had a more than a year of thinking and preparation. This one obviously doesn’t. But I definitely feel that with my most recent chapter that I’ve turned a corner with the story and the next few chapters should come right along. Hopefully.

So let’s discuss chapter five a little. Recall that Andrew’s client is a prominent activist. In this chapter Andrew attends a major event hosted by his client’s organization. But he learns some scary details once the event has already begun. Suffice it to say that the event does not go as planned, but that’s all you get from me!

The chapter ends with a cliffhanger. You know as the reader that some serious s**t is about to go down, just not what. And a new character is introduced. She’s the personal lawyer of Andrew’s client and also represents the organization in all legal matters. Her name is Stephany. Yes, spelled that way. It’s unique!

I am fast at work on the next chapter so I won’t make you guys wait a year and half for something new. Until next time!

PS: Andrew’s birthday is coming up! I’ll reveal the date a little later.

Blog Tour Info

I mentioned a few posts ago that I would be going on a blog tour to help promote my first book. I also mentioned that I would have the details of said tour at some point. Well, I have them to share.

I’m using Sage’s Blog Tours for my tour and it will span the dates of January 6-27. You might be thinking that I have plenty of time to find tour hosts and stuff like that, but since my tour will have a heavy focus on reviews it really isn’t that much time at all.

Before I give you the link to possibly become a tour host, I’d first like to tell you guys what I’ll be needing (even though it’s clearly displayed if click the link.)

The tour will be 15-20 stops and I’m hoping for at least 3/4 of those to be reviews. Of course, I’m not the one working behind the scenes to make that happen, but that’s at least what I’m hoping for at this point. So should you have some desire to be a tour host then you’ll obviously be receiving a FREE copy of my book for review. So there’s that!

The remaining stops will likely be a combination of guest posts made by me or author interviews. Also, it helps if you currently write reviews, so if you’d like to be a host but you don’t review books then feel free to allow a guest post or schedule an interview. It goes without saying that your blog must be book related to participate.

If you’re interested all you have to do is click here! Check out my cool banner.

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