Book Signing: Lesson Learned and Cool Stuff

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I’ve been on the reader side of the table many times in my life.

A little nervous. A little excited. Trying to think of something to say to a favorite author that doesn’t sound absurd.

Glowing and happy as I approach the signing table of someone I know. Delighting in their accomplishment and proud to know them.

I never thought of what it’s like to be on the other side of the table, not even when I was getting ready for my book release party. I was far too busy fretting about whether the books and swag would arrive on time or if I forgot to invite anyone to think about actually being in that seat on the other side of the table.

The books arrived and the swag was perfect.

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Stickers and magnets and bookmarks! Oh my!

I even had someone there to handle the purchasing side of things. All I had to do was talk to people and sign books. Easy right?

Ever seen a deer in the headlights?

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Yep. That’s how I felt, which wasn’t a real problem until it came time to write something in the books. I had no idea what to write. I hadn’t thought about that part of it. Not once. To be fair, I think it’s harder when you know a lot of the people buying the books because you want to say something personal to each of them, but having some vague notion of what to write would have made it so much easier.

Can I run away now?

Can I run away now?

So this is my advice to the new authors out there. Put time in on swag and ordering book copies and arranging all the details (better if you can delegate some of that), but also spend time coming up with a plan for how your want to sign those books so that you don’t have to try to engage your brain when you feel like a deer in the headlights (this is especially important for true introverts).

For all of you on the other side of the table, be gentle.

Making it through.

Making it through.

Now for a few of the fun things from the book release party.

An amazing bag gifted to me by the extremely talented Ann of Romany Rapture.

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This fantastic pendant gifted to me by another incredibly talented woman, Lora of London Particulars.

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And some great bouquets from more lovely people.

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flowers

skittles

Happy book signing, regardless of what side of the table you’re on!

 

Pacific Northwest Writers Blog Hop

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I had a different post planned for today, but I was hit up by fellow Pacific NW author Michael G. Munz, author of Zeus Is Dead and several other novels (learn more about his books here) for the Pacific Northwest Writers Blog Hop. Not only did this sound like fun, but it bumps my other post to next week, freeing me from coming up with a new idea. procrastinate So Here’s my contribution to the hop…

1) What am I working on?

My immediate goal is to finish editing the second book in the Clockwork Cat series and get that to my agent by the end of October. Why the end of October? Because we all know what November is.

NaNoWriMo!

TheGirlWiththeClockworkCat-NikkiMcCormack-500x750[2]I know a lot of authors aren’t into the NaNoWriMo write 50,000 words in a month thing. I love it! I won’t wax eloquent on why here, I’ve done that in several blog posts previously. If you really want to know why I love it you can learn more on some of those old posts (My NaNoWriMo Tips and Lessons Learned and Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Addict (and Lessons Learned)). For a short answer, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat started life as a NaNoWriMo novel and that alone is reason enough for me to keep doing it. I already know what I’m writing this year and, after all the editing and book promotion, I’m dying to get started.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

In the Young Adult category, I think having a really strong female protagonist without having a heavy romance is fairly unusual. In all my work, I like to establish the women as self-sufficient and strong before I let them get too involved in romance that might take away from their own self-discovery.

November Silence: Head Down in the Steampunk NovelOn the steampunk side of things, the low-key gradual development of that technology throughout the series is also uncharacteristic of that genre. It has been a source of disappointment for some readers who are heavy steampunk devotees, but hopefully I can win them over by the end.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love working in fantasy and science fiction, mostly because there is boundless opportunity to explore creativity while still giving ample opportunity to research and learn. In The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, for example, I spent days researching Victorian London and learning everything I could about that time, but the fact that it is fantasy gave me the ability to take what I learned and turn it into something new.

4) How does my writing process work?

I do actually outline in a sense, but not in the typical sense. When I get an idea, I bounce it around in my head for a while. When I have a good feel for my primary character(s) and I know, at the very least, what their goals are and where I want the book to start and end, I begin making notes and sketching out pivotal scenes. Sometimes I’ll rough out a more detailed timeline, but most of the time I let that information live in my head and start writing, allowing it the story to move dynamically while I work. And there you have it. My contribution to the Pacific NW Blog Hop. Don’t forget to drop by Michael G. Munz and follow through to some of the other authors on the blog hop.

Now to keep the blog hopping I’m passing the torch to another Pacific Northwest author.

CDevine_Headshot41414_smCeejae Devine

Ceejae Devine focuses on personal spiritual experiences, which is something she never imagined she’d be doing because she’s not religious and she doesn’t fit most people’s ideas about what it means to be spiritual. She is a feminist and a single parent with two daughters who are both strong in art, math and science. Ceejae spends most of her time following thoughts to see where they lead, and she’s been making surprising discoveries. She is currently fine tuning her memoir and developing a mini-book called “Critical Revelations About Contemporary Spirituality.”

Ceejae’s links: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Enjoy!

Rising from the Ashes

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A dramatic title, I know, but when your computer dies, it is really dramatic. Even if you have the important stuff (writing) backed up, losing your computer means losing your ability to work effectively. This time around, when we pulled the hard drive, it looked like it had started melting. Definitely dead.

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On the up side, if your computer dies right before bonus time when several wondrous new games are lurking on the horizon…

Borderlands Pre Sequel

DA Inquisition

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…it can be a blessing in disguise.

Criteria for a new computer for me is simple.

  1. It has to be quiet, so it doesn’t drive me bonkers when I’m writing.
  2. It has to be able to run upcoming games with ease.
  3. It has to do everything without overheating.

Now for a little amateur video.

There will be many books written and edited using this computer, which is its primary purpose, but there will also be epic gaming.

The best part is, now that I have a working computer again, I can get back to editing the next book.

In the Interim

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The last week has been a little crazy with adjusting to the idea of having a book out, trying to keep track of social media and writing up guest blog posts and interviews. Outside of that, I’ve been trying to edit the next book,

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get Teagan established with a vet in our new town,

No. Not the vet!

No. Not the vet!

get my horses in to a vet for their dental appointment,

Say what??

Say what??

prepare for a book release party,

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and manage all the other little details of life (like going to urgent care for a cat bite). I hope to have something more fun up on my blog soon, but in the interim, if you’re curious about my book, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, you can follow some of the reviews and guest posts on my blog tour here managed by the fabulous YA Bound Book Tours.

Happy adventuring!

Not a Clockwork Dog

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The release of my debut novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, rushed in on the heels of a whirlwind move from a house we’d lived in for fourteen years. Fourteen years is exactly long enough to forget how dreadful moving is and to accumulate a ton of stuff.

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With the move and all the prep work for the book release, I barely had a free minute for anything else. This made it the perfect time to adopt a dog. (There may be something wrong with me).

Meet eight-month-old Teagan.

Teagan

In a mere couple of weeks, he’s become an integral part of the family. Even the cats are reluctantly accepting him into their domain (possibly in the hopes of dispatching him when we aren’t looking).

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Don’t look behind you.

Teagan puts out a lot of effort to fit in. He’s learned not to be too forward with the cats and picked up the idea of Frisbee like a champ (though he’s still having a little trouble with the idea of giving the Frisbee back).

Frisbee

You want me to what?

He’s gone on several adventures around the new neighborhood with us and even showed off his excellent manners at brunch on the patio of a local restaurant.

Waiting for the drop.

Waiting for the drop.

Last night, we decided to have a nice dinner in to celebrate the book release. Overwhelmed with the excitement in the house, Teagan helped himself to a lovely cut of uncooked steak off the counter…

Ashamed…kind of.

He did make amends by helping cook in a rather unexpected torrential downpour, possibly in hopes of getting another go at the steak.

Grillin' in the rain.

Grillin’ in the rain.

He may not be a cat and he may not always get things right, but he’s a fantastic addition to the family.

Welcome home Teags. I’m hoping you’ll have many more chances to snatch a celebratory steak off the counter.

 

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