October – #PROVECTUS Birth Month

October is my favorite month.

It’s the month of my birthday, my anniversary, and my favorite holiday – Halloween! Fall is officially here. The leaves change (yes, we do have seasons in California). The weather gets cooler (mostly).

And now October is also the “birthday” of my debut novel, PROVECTUS, Survival of the Fittest. Officially, the release date is October 4, 2016. Though they tell us not to focus too much on the actual release date, but rather the weeks before and after that date.

But how can I not focus on that date for my very first novel? After years of hard work, it will finally venture out into the world. That’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.

So keep an eye on my blog for book signings in the Ventura County area!

And please get yourself a copy from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or from Mrs. Figs’ Bookworm. Don’t be afraid to ask a bookstore to carry my book if they don’t already have it! It’s available for them to order through Ingram Publishing Services.

I hope the world enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


#PROVECTUS has gone to press!

The other day I reviewed the final draft of my new thriller novel, PROVECTUS, Survival of the Fittest.

It looks amazing!

Fellow writers, I must warn you . . . you will NEVER find EVERY typo. So at some point you just need to let it go. I have a very keen eye. And I continue to find things even after scouring every sentence, word,  and punctuation mark.

I did, however, find a timeline issue very late in the game! It was something I didn’t see until I had the ARC in my hands. I just never noticed it on the digital versions I was using to proof it. Thankfully, it was a relatively easy fix. But wow. Next time I will pay to print a physical copy just for proofing. And I don’t mean an 8.5 x 11 printed version. I mean an ARC- sized version.

Maybe that’s just me.

So part of going to press with a hybrid publisher means I had to pay for the copies now even though my release date isn’t until the first week of October. Ouch!

However, I did get some orders from Barnes & Noble as well as a handful of independent bookstores. Yay! That’s one way She Writes Press really stands out. Their books are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services. Their sales force takes meetings with retailers and gets those retailers to stock/carry their titles. You don’t get THAT with self publishing!

Nine Months to Publication with @shewritespress . . . and Counting

For those interested, I’m going to chronicle my publication experience with She Writes Press, a hybrid publisher for women writers.

On November 7th, I signed with She Writes Press. Immediately, they welcomed me with a lovely email. The email also asked to fill out an information sheet about me and my novel. They needed my bio, a photo and a synopsis (actually two, the back-of-the-book copy and a full, true synopsis) for my story. On December 4th, I joined my first SWP Authors call. After the call (which included a webinar), I was sent a tip sheet to fill out (Yep! More homework already – just like you’d expect from a publisher). This requested even more information about my book such as keywords and the BISAC category (i.e., where people will find it on the shelves – both virtual and physical).

On December 15th I was sent my editorial schedule which told me me my publication date will be October 4, 2016. WOOT! Did you hear that? I said, “My publication date.” How I do love the sound of that phrase.

Anyway . . . I digress! I explicitly requested a publication date of October because it’s my favorite month.

October is the month that holds my birthday, my wedding anniversary (to the most amazing man ever), and my favorite holiday (Halloween). And now it will hold the birth of my debut novel! I couldn’t be happier.

This is one of the wonderful things about She Writes Press. Do you think any one of the “Big 5” book publishers would have taken my wishes regarding my publication month into consideration? I think not.

And thanks to my editorial schedule, I know what’s coming and when deliverables are due – both what I owe the publisher and what they owe me. For example, on December 11th I was sent the first concept for my book cover. (Even though they weren’t due to me until January.)

I loved it immediately!

My novel is a science-based thriller. The artist really captured the mystery of the story. It just needed a bit of tweaking to give it a more mainstream “thriller” vibe. I liked it so much I printed a 4 1/4″ x 7″ color copy of it and pasted it onto a book so I could see what it will look like on my bookshelf. (I created the spine too – it’s very realistic!) This is visualization at its finest, my friends.

After I’ve started working with my publicist, I’ll post images of all these things so you can see what I mean in full-color.

Speaking of publicists, I’ve elected to go with BookSparks. She Writes Press and BookSparks are both a part of the SparkPoint Studio family. I interviewed other publicists but none of them seemed to have the personal touch that BookSparks does. My contract with them begins in January.

My manuscript is due to the publisher on February 2nd. My husband generously offered to read it out loud to me. Thankfully, we both enjoyed the story and found no major plot problems. (Whew!) Thanks to his feedback, I spent three days on minor edits (mostly having to do with word choices, etc.). If he stumbled or stopped when reading an awkward sentence, that was my cue to fix things. It was an excellent experience. I’d advise other writers to do the same. Even if you have to pay someone!

Next up, I’m writing a bit for the end of the book where I’ll discuss the science behind the story in the tradition of Michael Crichton’s State of Fear or The Sixth Extinction by James Rollins. I’m hoping readers will want to know more about the science.

Because isn’t that why we love science-based thrillers?