Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unleash your Inner Wolf

I don't usually do this. Because it's so rare that I find a book I can't put down.

But I couldn't put this one down. I fell in love with the speaker function of my Kindle and I listened to this book while folding laundry, brushing my teeth, driving my car, until I finally got to the end.

The book is Unleashed by Nancy Holder and it's very very good.

Quick facts:

* This is a werewolf novel. DON'T BE ALARMED. It is so unlike any you've read before. Believe me, I'm NOT a werewolf fan.

* It takes place outside of Bentonville, Arkansas. How random is that??

* There is an intense love triangle. Even as a reader I can't decide which guy she should choose!

* The intrigue and mysteries propel you forward and you won't be able to put this down.

* It ends on a cliffhanger, and I can't find any information about the release of the sequel.

* The paperback is only twelve bucks on Amazon.com.

Just so you know about a great book out there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fan Mail

Well, I'm back in the US, and readjusting to American culture! I must say, I love the USA. I enjoyed every moment in Mexico and I keep confusing my kids by speaking to them in Spanish... ha ha.

But I had a lovely surprise when I got home. One of the middle grade classes I visited before I left mailed me a package of thank you letters. These are simply awesome and I'll keep them forever. I hope the students don't mind if I share some of their letters. This is pure literary gold.

"I especially enjoyed how you told us about your childhood and how you got really bored in classes just like me. Also I liked that you played sports and you weren't a nerdy author."

"You were very inspiring."

"I look forward to reading your book, but I'll have to wait untiil my parents are done reading it."

"I especially enjoyed knowing that dreams do come true. I look forward to continue trying to make my dream come true, a brain surgeon. Thank you."

"I look forward that you will become a best seller at the kids choice awards in the next five years or so."

"I look forward to reading your book. I'll probably want to read the second one, too. I hope it's done quick. I'm a fast reader."

"I especially enjoyed your visit because you showed us that even if we are 11 or 12 things we do now can lead to great things."

"You inspired me to start writing stories again. The last thing I would like to tell you is that you and Dr. Seuss are both my favorite authors."

"I bought your book. I didn't start reading it."

"I would have loved to see you but I was gone. Thanks anyway."

"I wish I could of had a free book and I think you are pretty and I do not like you I just think you are pretty."

"We all would love to read your book. Maybe one day I will be able to read your book. I look forward to reading your book when it comes down in price. I would love to read your book."

"I hope your next book's title is going to be different from the other."

And my favorite:

"I am very glad you came, it changed my point of view with writing. I was so inspired! I just cannot get over how amazing it is that you wrote a story at twelve years of age. I hope you continue for a long time to inspire kids all around Arkansas!"

Hope you enjoyed! What's some great fan mail you've had??

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hola de México!

I'm really busy right now drinking mango juice and rinsing sand out of my bathing suit. Sorry I can't take the time to blog or finish reviews and all those good things.

In case you wondered, I'm having an absolute blast. Hubby and I are in Puerto Vallarta by OURSELVES, having a wonderful vacation. We spent yesterday walking around downtown, eating street tacos and grilled shrimp and mahi mahi.

We took an hour long walk along the beach this morning, pausing only to watch the newly hatched baby turtle make its way to the water. Then we lounged under a thatched roof on stretchy chairs, the sun beating on us while a cool breeze floated up over the ocean, the sound of the lapping waves echoing in our ears. And in case the salty ocean gets to be too much, we can migrate over to the pool just below our balcony.

And the food... oh my, Mexican food in Mexico is something else. Something really really wonderfully awesome.

So that's it. That's all for now because I need to change my clothes and get ready for the cruise we're taking to Las Caletas for a show, dinner, and dance tonight. I hope your week is going as awesome.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Drug of Discouragement

There are so many things stacked against an author.

First there's writing your book. There's no time for it. You've got writer's block. All the creative ideas are gone. You have to critique other books so people will critique yours.

Then there's getting your book published. Queries are of the devil. Agents block your way. Publishers take forever. Nobody wants the manuscript. Someone else's book is always better than yours.

And finally, you're published. But now there are no sales. You have to blog and facebook and tweet just to remind people you're alive. You give hours of your time away so you can sell a book. You have to go out of your comfort zone to be a salesman.

Wow. No wonder authors are often grumpy people. In the midst of all this, the dream and allure of publication turns into, "Why am I writing another stupid book? This is pointless."

Oh writer-friend, get yourself to a writer's conference.

I find that I need a writer's conference every six months. The motivational high I get from one tapers off in the following four months, and by month six I'm lagging. But once I get there, the speakers and the experiences of other writers rub off on me, and suddenly I find I can do it again. It encourages me to know we're all going through the same thing. And then I see that my efforts aren't so bad, that maybe I'm even doing better than some.

Discouragement is a drug, and it debilitates your psyche. But you'll need help coming off it. Plan on a writer's conference. Don't know where to go? Check out Shawguides, a wonderful site with more conferences than you have the time and money to get to. I promise you'll leave encouraged. It's so worth it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Middle school or high school visits

I have spent the past month doing a tour of local schools to sell books and introduce myself as an author. I found something that rather surprised me:

Middle school/junior highs are more supportive than high schools.

Here's how:

1) While some high school teachers handed out my order form before my visit, others felt their students wouldn't order any books and so did not. Middle school/junior high teachers handed my order forms out to students to take home.

2) All teachers promoted me, but middle school/junior high teachers took their kids to my website, watched my trailer, put me on the morning announcements, etc.

3) The high school students were not as interested. Of those who received order forms, only a few brought them back. They also were less attentive and didn't participate as much in the presentation.

4) The majority of high school teachers didn't even respond to my offer. Many middle school/junior high teachers did.

The difference in sales was so huge that I'm debating whether or not I should continue visiting high schools. I think for the middle school/junior highs, I am more of a novelty, and perhaps they simply have more time in their busy curriculum to fit in an unnecessary visit like an author. High school teachers probably get everyone and their dog offering a visit.

I still have three more months of this before school lets up, so I'll inform you of how it ends up being at the end.

School visits. Have you done them? What worked? What didn't?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Abandoned Blog

Dear readers,

My blog mistress seems to have abandoned me. I read something about a painting project and heard rumors about a disinterest in writing. I'm not sure what to do here.

So sorry you haven't had anything new to read. If I could come up with interesting and ideas and be my own blog, I would. But I can't. I'm a blank slate, just waiting for her to write upon me.

If you see her, please remind her she has a blog in need of her attention.

Thank you for your time.

Tamara's Blog
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