Monday, January 25, 2016

The Truths I Tell Myself

After last week with my lying, I figured I would search out the truth. This is what I came up with.

I'm a good writer. 

Yup. I am. A good writer. I'm not great, fabulous, Hemingway. I do have occasional moments of brilliance, or humor, or humanity depending on what you may be reading. My stories have been known to move women to tears. Men have said my male characters are realistic. I feel competent in my writing skills.

I'm better than I used to be. However, I would like to be really good. And I will. Eventually. Practice makes almost perfect.

I'm a good parent.

I am. Monster thinks I'm off the wall most of the time. Her friends think I'm wicked funny, she thinks I'm lame. Go figure. But I think she's a good kid, and I hope she thinks I'm a good mom. I try my hardest. I'm better than I used to be. However, I could be better.


I love my job. (Even the one where I don't get paid.)

I cannot tell you how much I love my job as a writer. Even on the most blinding frustrating maddening days, I love my job. I cannot imagine doing anything else. Making up stories is like living on the beach. Every day is a new adventure.

I even love the volunteer work I do at Monster's school. If I ever went back to work in the real world, it's going to look damn good on my resume.

I'm a good friend.

At least I think so. I hope so. My friend Debbie gave me a little plaque that reads You're The Friend That Everybody Wishes They Had  Isn't that sweet? Sometimes I'm a little too blunt and I say things I probably shouldn't, but I try not to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm just opinionated. And loud and bossy, and the girl your mother would never let you hang out with. But I'm also kind, and generous, and pretty damn funny once you get to know me.

So, those are my truths. Got any you want to share?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Lies I Tell Myself

I don't lie. I learned a long time ago that I always get caught. Besides, the truth is so much easier. That way I don't have to remember what I said. The caveat with that is -- I don't lie to other people. Lying to myself? That's a whole other ball game.

I took a look at this last year, what I accomplished, what I didn't, and instead of New Year's Resolutions, which I never make, decided to review my faults (as pertains to my writing life -- if I wrote down ALL my faults this blog would become a novel.)

I WILL BECOME A BETTER BLOGGER

I will write engaging, interesting content. I will post every week. I will keep up with the comments, and do my part to get around to all my friends. I will find new people to follow. I will leave thoughtful comments wherever I go.

Epic fail. I looked back on what I wrote this last year and it was a rambling, chaotic mess. I barely acknowledged my own comments never mind, getting to my friends' blogs. As for posting every week, I'm lucky I posed once a month, and even then, not so much.

I WILL READ BOOKS

I haven't read a book in almost five years. I used to read a book a day when I wasn't writing--when I lived in the real world. Now that I'm writing, all my free time goes toward my stories. I received two books for Christmas--do we want to take bets on how long it will take me to read them? Or should I say--open them? I'll put $10 on July.


I WILL BECOME A BETTER MARKETER

With the last novel I published, I had a marketing plan in place for several months. I talked it over with a very good friend who actually does that for a living. She thought my plan was good, and gave me some ideas to make it better. When the book came out, I implemented all the ideas. Did it work? Hell to the no. Why not, you may ask. Because I'm still marketing like it's 1999. I need to get into the 21st century, but it's hard considering I'm a fossil who still thinks just publishing a book will make it sell.

I WILL STICK TO A SCHEDULE

I drop Monster off at 7:30 every morning. It's a half hour commute, I'm home by 8, at the computer by 8:15. I write until 12, make lunch, then edit what I wrote until 2:15. I pick Monster up, make her food, help with homework, make dinner (the kid is always hungry) clean up the kitchen, then return to the office to tackle where I left off, in bed by 9:00.

Does this happen? Never. I blame it on my volunteer position at Monster's school. I've always been the "yes man". If they can't find someone to help, they just ask me. Because they know I'll do it. And then what happens is, after being at school all day, I'm so exhausted, I can't get up the energy to even sit down at the computer, never mind find a coherent thought.

I WILL PUBLISH MY BOOKS IN A TIMELY MANNER

See above. I started three stories in June. I finished one in July. I had 25k on the second one by Aug 1. We went back to school August 28. It took me three and a half months to finish that book. It should have been finished by the end of Aug, edited and revised in September, published in October. As it was, I didn't finish it until two days before Thanksgiving and barely had it revised for Christmas. Now, I'm working on that third book.

I WILL BE BETTER AT SOCIAL MEDIA

Friends keep telling me to get on Instagram, Wattpad, Face Book. I can't even keep up with my blog, never mind Twitter. I still haven't figured out how to link my blog with my LinkedIn account. I just finally updated my Pinterest boards. I used to keep Monday as my "social media" day. I don't know what happened. (School is what happened.)


I WILL SAY NO TO VOLUNTEERING

Until the principal, a kindly old nun, looks at me with the "face" and says please. How can I say no? It should be simple. I say no to Monster all the time. I say no to other people. Why is it so hard? Probably the Catholic guilt. I'm afraid I'll burn in hell if I refuse. (This one I promise I'm working on.)

I WILL TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE FLOWERS

When was the last time I did anything for myself? I can't tell you. If I'm not at school, I'm working on a book. When I'm working on a book all hell breaks loose in the housework department, so when I'm finished with the book, it takes me a week to straighten out the mess. By then I'm ready to start work on the next book. It's a vicious cycle. I keep telling myself as soon as I get the money I'm going to the beach. Of course, if I wrote my books in a timely manner, published and marketed them so they sold well, I would have the money to go to the beach.


So that's my list. What do you think? Tell me-- Is there anything you lie to yourself about?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2016

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays

Warmest Wishes for the Yuletide. I'll see you next year. 





Anne Gallagher (c) 2015


photo credit morguefile: svklimkin

Monday, December 14, 2015

Marketing and Promotion

So, I finished my book, had my edits, made my revisions, found a cover image, and uploaded everything successfully to where it needed to go. Now, comes the dreaded next part. Marketing and Promotion.

I hate this. I really do. Because I don't know how to do it. I spent years learning how to format correctly (hell, I spent YEARS just learning how to use WORD.) For my Regency romances I had a small following, so that when the next book came out, I really didn't do much except announce the book on the blog, once or twice on Twitter, and voila, sales.

However, trying to gain traction as a "new" author is a little daunting. I had thought about publishing this new book under my Anne Gallagher name, but if I did, then I'd lose the few reviews I'd garnered on REMEMBERING YOU. I didn't want to do that.

Believe it or not, I have a marketing plan in place. I've been thinking of this for several months. Problem is, I don't know if it'll work. And you say, "Go ahead, try it. You won't know if it succeeds until you do." I know that. But...what if it doesn't?

When I'm cooking for a large crowd, I like to use my tried and true recipes. That way I won't mess up and everyone will say, "Oh, that was so good."

I'm kind of feeling that same way with this new book. I don't want to try anything new, afraid that people will say, "Oh, that just sucked." Or worse, I've just spammed them to death. I love Twitter, but it's just so full of crap these days, I don't want to be "one of those people".

Right now the book is up on Amazon for 99 cents until Christmas. I'm hoping some people will buy it and write a few reviews before I change the price. I'm also going to post some excerpts on the Robynne Rand blog and link those to Twitter. If you'd like a copy, I have epub, mobi files, and PDF that I can send you. If you'd like to write a review for Goodreads, that would be swell. If not, that's okay too.

Ads are not my thing, so that's out. I'm still unsure whether or not to do a FaceBook page. However, a friend said that the demographic I'm trying to reach is on FaceBook, so...we'll see.


Tell me -- What do you do for marketing and promotion? Any tried and true tricks? Any advice? Please share.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Women of a Certain Demographic

So, I've been working like a fiend to get this book finished. My time has not been my own since school started and the original draft was supposed to have been finished by the end of August. The writing gods mocked me. But now that it is (and has been looked over by my editor and is now with my critique partner) I'm ready to talk about it.

I've decided to release it under my Robynne Rand name as several characters from REMEMBERING YOU appear in DEMOGRAPHIC.

Without further ado...



After losing her job, apartment, and latest friend-with-benefits, prize-winning newspaper journalist Cathryn Parker returns home to Rhode Island and her domineering mother Rita, six Chihuahuas, and the old bedroom she slept in as a kid. Blacklisted for writing an expose on a philandering Senator, Cathryn takes the only job offered her at Providence Woman Monthly, if only to escape her mother's constant disapproval.

When asked to write a piece on the lack of love in the lives of women over a certain age, Cathryn is appalled, as she's part of that demography. To make things worse, the only way to ensure the magazine stays afloat and Cathryn keeps her job is if the article is a hit.

A chance meeting with her brother's best friend, Steve, finds Cathryn battling an emotional roller-coaster. Living under the Disney delusion that someday her prince would come—Steve is the perfect man, everything she's ever wanted—but he carries the physical scars of a bomb blast from Afghanistan and the emotional scars from a fiancĂ©e who left him because of it. 

However, when she discovers the secret that her perfect Prince Charming has been hiding, Cathryn makes a life-changing decision, especially as she has her own secret to keep.

*****

The novel is available on Amazon for a limited time for .99  -- It will be available at its regular price on Christmas from  Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, itunes, Gardeners UK, to name a few by Christmas.

If anyone would like an ARC, please let me know. shoreroadpublishing@gmail.com

Anne Gallagher  (c) 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Shout Out for Mac

My friend R. Mac Wheeler has just published his 28th!!! novel and this is a shameless promotion for him. I love his stuff. His voice is distinctive and the stories are wild and wooly. If you haven't read him yet, you should. (My favorites were the REVENIR series--gotta love those vampires. But really, any of Mac's stuff is great. You won't be disappointed.)

Book 3 of the 6 Ways Series

At eighteen it’s tough to decide a life path when the threat of pandemic hangs over the world, your brother is the genius who engineered the plague, and you’re repeatedly drawn into the fight against the terrorists spreading it. Plenty of people would kill an Abernathy on sight so it would be wise for Mar to visit the dojo, otherwise play invisible, but her brother is manipulating her into another adventure.



If you haven't read Book 1 or 2, and like to start at the beginning...

BOOK 1
Alcoholic parents treated Margarite as an unwelcome stranger, then left her at fourteen with her thirty year old autistic brother. At sixteen, things really sour, thanks to her brother. A medical researcher, Reggie engineers the ultimate plague. Fanatics seek to control him. The government pursues them as terrorists. Margarite witnesses ruthlessness, compassion, and competence she couldn't imagine from her brother, but the world needs a miracle. The best she and Reggie can do is wing it.


BOOK 2
Nightmares. Panic attacks. Depression. Margarite is hammered by the typical issues of a seventeen year old loner, whose parents sympathized with insane people intending to collapse civilization. The few who care about Mar have more concerns. Her drinking. Fighting. Jumping out of airplanes.

Her brother engineered the plague that’s breaking out across the globe and she holds a little guilt for not stopping it. Or being one of the first to die. Still, conspirators behind what they call The Correction are not done with her.


The Author
R. Mac Wheeler writes about characters with a lot of baggage, men who make many men look like wimps, tough chicks that can whip most men...puts them in situations that push them to the edge...in worlds that don’t overly stretch the imagination.

A former IT professional,  he now focuses full time on suspense, paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy  that leverages the quirkiness and baggage of real life more often than the far fetched.

Visit his Home Page: WWW.RMACWHEELER.COM

Monday, October 5, 2015

And Then It All Fell Apart

So, two weeks ago, I was well on my way to completing my latest WiP. I had the ending outline, knew where it was going, how I was going to get there and then BOOM. It blew up in my face. I had to go back to Chapter 2 to find a conversation thread and as I read it, I realized the plot wasn't going to work.

Talk about a bummer. I took a few days and mulled it over, rethinking the whole thing, hoping maybe I could MAKE it work the way the story was written. Nope. Well, yeah, it could, but it wouldn't be believable. Okay, that's not true, it would have been believable, but only to a certain few. And I don't need bad reviews.

I discussed the problem with two friends who aren't writers and although they agreed that I could probably finish the story the way I wanted, readers would have had to REALLY get behind the premise of love at first sight. And as I thought about it, the main character, Cathryn, wasn't really believing it either. Lots of great internal dialogue, but I think if you have to QUESTION if you love someone, then you probably don't.

Of course it's been a long time since I've been in love and in writing this book, I've had to really dredge up memories that probably should have been left locked up where they were. Obviously, I haven't been lucky at it, and if I had been, I'd probably still be in it. Right?

So now what? Well, for the most part, I'm just too busy to care. Real life has once again taken a nasty turn and I'm knee deep in school crap again. Also, when I write, I like to block out days to get it done. Say Tues Wed Thurs for 6-8 hours per day (not necessarily in that big of a chunk, but split the day into shifts). However, I haven't been able to block off any days in a row.

When do I think the book will be finished? I've now given myself until the end of October. Why? Because I have no choice.

Am I working on something else? Well, yes. I can't not write. I've gone back into the new Regency I started last March. And I've dabbled a little bit with the mystery detective stories again.

Am I freaking out? Yeah, kind of, a little bit. But hey, the way I figure it, it'll get done when it gets done. And hopefully, still in time for Christmas.

So tell me -- What do you do when you're almost at the end and you realize it's not going to work? Do you leave it alone? Or continue to work on it? Or do you make yourself sick on chocolate and pistachio ice cream?