Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get ready to party!

It's party time... book release party time, that is! The date’s been set: 7 p.m. April 15 at All Booked Up in Apex. And, of course, you are invited.

While Storm Surge paperbacks will not be released until the book release party, they are available for pre-order at All Booked Up (with a deliver to store option, which will save you money by charging $0 for shipping costs as you would pick up your copy at the store). A Kindle version of Storm Surge also is available (now) on Amazon! Also, All Booked Up is offering a $2 discount for books pre-ordered before the party.

I’m excited about the event but more excited about having the books in readers’ hands. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The windup

If I think I’ve been busy getting ready for the release of Storm Surge, I know my publisher has been super busy. The official release date is April 15. Getting ready for the release, my publisher has been working hard on:

A website for Storm Surge:
Not only do I think the website rocks, but it also has a nifty link to the site where you can pre-order the book.

A few press releases about the book:
Do You Like Stephanie Plum? Then You'll Love Jonie Waters
Some Things Are Worth Killing For

So, you’d think with all the hard work my publisher has been completing that I’d have loads of time to write book II. Wrong! We’ve had an awful virus running through our house. First it hit my husband, and then one of my sons, and then me… and we’re trying to get ready for our healthy son’s birthday party this weekend. Relatives coming to the house = disinfecting time! Ick.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No, I don't have cable. Yes, I am strange.

I don’t have cable television. Is that so strange? Sometimes, I feel like I’m an alien because of my lack of access (and my lack of desire to access) the latest popular television show. The recent antics of television stars come up frequently in conversations, and most often I stay silent, unable to contribute to the dialogue; almost invariably, I’ve not watched the show people are discussing. Just recently, I was caught in a conversation where I admitted my obliviousness and my lack of access to cable.

“What?” was the response. “You don’t have cable television? Not even a basic subscription? Why, I just don’t know what to say to you!”

I shrugged and sheepishly said I sometimes catch shows I really want to watch on the internet so the entertainment can take my mind of exercising on the elliptical trainer. While true, more often than not I’m reading while on the trainer. (Right now, a book of short mystery stories by North Carolina writers is waiting for me on the exercise machine, making sweat that much less dreadful. Thank you, Sarah Shaber!)

There just are not enough hours in the day to do what I want to be doing, let alone keep up with television shows. Between being a stay-at-home mother of two very young boys and doing what I need to do to remain in (relatively) good shape physically and spiritually, I’m writing freelance stories for the local paper, promoting Storm Surge (to be out in April, 2011), and writing the next novel in the series – I struggle to do all of it, some days! And then there are the books I want to read – a never ending stack of books (and I wouldn’t have that any other way). There’s my commercial-free entertainment!

That’s not to say I don’t watch the occasional (rented) movie or sometimes veg on the couch with whatever is on the air. Just the other night, my husband convinced me to watch an episode of Survivor, and I admit, the show was hilarious, and I enjoyed spending an hour next to my hubby, snacking and laughing with him. And, I do enjoy downtime when I can zone out with Navy CIS – that’s if I get back from my every-other-Tuesday-evening newspaper writing assignment in time. But for the most part, television cuts into my precious distraction-free writing time, and when I do watch it, I surface and cannot remember five minutes afterward what I just watched. So, mostly, I refuse to be sucked in and distracted.

Am I strange? Perhaps. But I’m used it. And I’m happy without cable. Plus, as an added bonus, not having cable gives me something to blog about.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A room of one's own? Hardly!

I remember, long ago, reading Virginia Woolf’s book by that title. She surely is not entirely being literal, but today, looking around my cluttered writing area, which is in a room with no door, listening to tiger growls and the tinny clash of swordfight from the television on the opposite side of our house, I chuckled, wondering what Woolf would think of my writing space. It isn’t a room of my own literally, that’s for certain.

I write on my family’s dining room table, which is cluttered with my five-year-old son’s arts and crafts supplies he inevitably forgets to return to that big white bin on the tabletop. Scraps of cut paper, a coil of lime green yarn, nubs of crayons, a couple coloring books, his discarded red cape with its safety-pin fasteners–along with my laptop, a notepad and pen, a basket of knickknack necessities (paperclips, CDs, thumb drives, bits of research)–this is the norm for tabletop contents.

The elliptical trainer in the corner is worth its weight in gold as sometimes the only time I find to exercise is during my two-year-old son’s nap. I hop on the trainer and read a book while working up a sweat–or sometimes I view a television show over the internet as my nights are usually consumed with writing or procrastinating writing by playing computer games and playing with social media. Of course, I find writing impossible if my husband is using that elliptical trainer. (And sometimes for a while afterward, also, but don't tell him.)

Look carefully and you might find my son’s baseball glove that my husband oiled and secured around a ball with a shoestring on the handmade cabinet that came with the house my parents bought when I was a pre-teen. An antique cabinet with lead paint stands at my back. 

The room is completely open, missing a wall, as it looks into what I’ve dubbed “the piano room,” for the obvious reason. My sons’ train set pieces litter the floor. Their behemoth rocking horse that the children seem only to want to ride when the other child is on it, resulting in screaming and wailing and (on my part only, I’m certain) headaches, juts out from another corner. He-the horse-is staring at me now, as I type, all four legs impossibly curled as if jumping in fright at a spider crawling across the floor.

So much clutter. So much distraction. It isn’t by any stretch a room of my own. But it’s where the writing happens, day after day. And I think, at the end of the day, that’s what matters. To me and to Virginia.