Just a PSA… I am cleaning up my PERSONAL Facebook account. Please, please, please do not be offended if you find yourself “unfriended.” It’s nothing personal at all. I had someone get mad at me today for doing the sweep. The fact is, I have never met most of the people who were swept off. I probably communicated with most of the people who were swept in my capacity as an author. However, if I’m to be true to my quest of separating my two lives, then I must continue with the separation. My author page is welcome to all. My personal life has to stay that way… personal.
Facebook tends to be an area of stress for me. If it weren’t for the author page, I would probably deactivate the account altogether. There’s too much fighting and bickering and horror on that site. For someone with PTSD and Anxiety Disorder, it can be a little overwhelming. It has its pluses, such as finding businesses, keeping up with “pages,” and information about various other things. All in all, I think it plays a more negative role in my life.
I use this blog, sometimes, as a personal journal. That’s my right. This isn’t some place I go to read about people hating one another or smacking each other in the face for personal belief differences. If I want to view that junk, all I have to do is log into Facebook.
I have actually limited my presence on several social media sites. I’m off of Tsu and LinkedIn. I don’t really get on Twitter much either. I feel that if someone likes my books, they will look me up on Amazon or Createspace or Smashwords.
The truth is, it’s time for a break from writing. I’ve put out four books. I need time to relax and think and recharge. Holding myself to time frames for writing isn’t what it’s about for me. I did that for this last book. I didn’t like how it made me feel. I felt rushed. I need to write because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. So, this summer, if I choose to work on a book that’s great. If not. That’s okay, too. If I never put out another book in my life, that’s fine also. I wasn’t ever looking to be famous. I wrote those books because I enjoyed the process and the creativity, especially The Between Worlds Books. The fourth book, Blessing of the Elements, was more of a personal catharsis, which I’ve stated before. And now that it’s done, I feel free and sort of empty, but not in a bad way. It was a way for me to move on from all of the pain from enduring 2014.
So, again, do not be upset if you are not on my personal profile’s “friends” list. You can always find me on http://www.facebook.com/tracee.ford.author. I post there regularly and it’s usually inspirational quotes. I also have this blog hooked up to it, so when Teaser Tuesday goes live here, it goes live there also.
Have a peaceful Saturday. I hope mine stays that way, too.
So, you’ve published a book? Now what? How do you drive traffic toward your work? During the month of June, Ozwind Publishing is focusing on the marketing services that are offered. Many people are finding it very difficult to publicize their books. Why? Sometimes they don’t know the right avenues to take. Sometimes they feel uncomfortable talking about their books. We can help!
It doesn’t matter who your work is published through, if you need someone to make folks aware of who you are and what you’re about, look to us for marketing solutions. A 3 month marketing package for $100 ensures that you will have the 90 days of tweeting, posting, and cheer-leading. Our yearly package for $400 offers the same perks, just for a longer period of time. Both of these include a spotlighted blog post here once a month. Keep in mind that the blog feature will be reblogged by my own followers and I will be networking with other bloggers to advocate for a feature about the author.
Each day I discover something brand new that Ozwind can do. So, I’m focusing on marketing for the post. I didn’t realize that clarification was needed about our marketing benefits until today. So, I wanted to relay some information about what we do as a provider.
When Facebook began changing its mission and made announcements about how things would change in 2015, I started researching a website that was recommended to me. When my author profile on Facebook was forced to become a “page,” I delved further into researching.
When my profile was converted, I even went out on a limb and paid for a few weeks so that my page would be seen by more people. As of today I have 6279 followers. Most of those were from my old author page merged to the new one. However, since I have decided NOT to pay for another few weeks, I lose a follower each day. Out of the over 6000 followers I have, only an average of 151 of them see my posts. I find that extremely sad and, most of all, I find it infuriating! It has been said and is obvious within the last month that if you do not pay, you remain hidden to the masses. Those very people you are trying to engage are not seeing a thing you post.
The better question is this: Are the “followers” gained from paying BOTS or real, breathing people? I don’t know the answer to that.
So, I’m posting this today, not only to vent my frustration, but to let you know that there is another website for those of us that are trying to engage people. It is tsu.co. From what I can see, it appears to be the new face of social media or at least that is what I am hoping. You actually get royalties for gaining followers. If you would like to get on the wagon, you can friend me there. Once you do that, you can create your own followers, for which you will receive royalties. Here is my link. Follow the prompts to create your own account and there you have it. A way to reach and engage your friends and followers. https://www.tsu.co/Author_Tracee_Ford
To conclude, I would like to update you on other places you can find me. And I want to send out a big thank you for those that already do follow and engage!
Kate Marie Robbins, a newly published author has joined us for the 6:30 p.m. spot. She has just published her first novel, which is a milestone in any author’s life. It sets the tone for anything else you write and it is a very exciting yet turbulent time. I want to wish Kate all of the success she can handle and thank her for participating!
Social Media connections:
Release Date: Tentatively set for the end of May.
Where to buy: When released, it will be on Amazon
Other Work: Two short stories: Cinder, and Flesh & Soul. Neither have been released yet.
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
“I don’t expect you to say anything. I just thought that you should know. No, that isn’t why I chose to help you. You needed help. I wasn’t about to let a fellow guard be punished because he doesn’t have a mind for battle strategy. I don’t expect anything in return from you. It’s enough knowing that my ideas will be used to keep us all safe from the Dark Warriors.” She turned away, to hide the fact that she was blushing. “It is getting late,” she continued, once she had regained her composure. “We both need to get some sleep, especially you.”
“Yes, of course.” Stupid, stupid, stupid. You cannot leave things like this. Do not walk out of this room without telling her the truth. I had to do it. After all she had done for me, all she was risking for me. I couldn’t lie to her. I just couldn’t. Could I?
I finished my wine, and stood, frozen in place. Somehow, I forced one foot in front of the other, moving towards her. She looked at me, nervous, confused. I don’t think she knew what to say or do at that point.
I pulled her into my arms, holding her gently. I swept the hair away from her eyes, her gorgeous wisteria eyes, and placed it behind her ears. I leaned in slowly, and kissed her, feeling her lips pressed softly against mine. They lingered there, as long as I dared. “You’re not the only one with secrets. Once this is all over with, I fully intend to marry you. To hell with what anyone thinks or says. That is, if you’ll have me.” It left her breathless.
I tried to pull away from her, knowing that I needed to go. I would need to sleep. She held onto me and wouldn’t let go. “Stay,” she pleaded.
Who was I to tell her no?
1 When did you first start writing? I started writing poetry at the age of 13. Indigo is my first novel.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? I didn’t. For a long time I wanted to be a forensic psychologist. I actually went to college and got my bachelor’s degree in psychology, but upon finishing, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. One day I heard a song and the story idea for Indigo just clicked. After that, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? The story idea for the Indigo trilogy sparked from a song, like I mentioned in question 2. That song is “Hot Air Balloon” by Owl City. The opening lines of the song are: “We wrote a prelude to our own fairytale, and bought a parachute at a church rummage sale, and with a mean sewing machine and miles of thread, we sewed the day above L.A. in navy and red, we round the racetrack through your mom’s kitchen chairs, and fought the shadows back down your dark basement stairs, I lit a match and let it catch to light up the room, and then you yelled as we beheld an old maroon hot air balloon.” I thought it would make for an intriguing take on a fairytale, which is what I originally intended for Indigo. It was to be a children’s fairytale, but as I started writing, it progressed into something deeper and more intricate.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? I don’t have a routine, other than as soon as I get an idea, I write it down immediately. Even if it’s just fleeting, maybe someday I’ll be able to put it to good use. I do tend to listen to music when I write, but I tend to listen to music all the time.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Most of my character names came from baby name websites. All of the place names came from color names, going along with the theme.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why? My favorite character would have to be Ava, mostly because I can see so much of me in her. It wasn’t actually intentional, it just kind of happened.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it? I learned to believe in myself. That you can pretty much accomplish anything, if you set your mind to it.
10 How did you/do you market your work? Mainly on facebook. I started out sharing it with my friends and around some of the book pages, and things progressed from there.
11 Favorite authors? L.A. Meyer, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bruce Coville, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Lewis Stevenson. I’m a huge fan of the classics, obviously.
12 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? Yes, I have, many, many times. What seems to work for me is sitting down and having a chat with my youngest brother. I just start talking, trying to work things out verbally. He usually has suggestions for me. Sometimes not, but just vocalizing what is going on in the book usually helps me work out the details of what should come next.
13 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Just start writing, let it all come pouring out. The first draft doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be written. (I read that quote somewhere, and it stuck with me.)
14 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it? Once I finish Indigo, I’ll be working on a collection of poetry (yet to be named), as well as a science fiction novel called Distorted Reality, a murder/revenge story (also yet to be named), and of course, book two of the Indigo trilogy, called Roisin.
Hello everyone. Tonight the spotlight is on Roxanne Kade, a young adult paranormal romance writer. Thank you so much Roxanne for coming along on the blog tour.
Enjoy the interview everyone!
Author: Roxanne Kade
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Social Media connections:
Release Date: Oct 2011
Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/therian-roxanne-kade/1111479566
“I was impressed with how Kade walks the line between the burgeoning world of college freshman, full of discovery and exploration, and the deeper, darker Gothic underworld of myths and legends with its secrets, pain, and violence.” ~ Denise DeSio, Author of Rose’s Will.
“Vampires, paranormal creatures, mystery and romance…be aware, this book will have you totally sucked in from its first page.” ~ Books to Remember
“Roxanne has a talent for spinning a supernatural tale with her magical words. Her writing is beautiful and I felt every emotion Amber felt. I was scared, happy, confused, sad…which is the only thing I look for in a story. If you can’t pull me in, it’s over. She had no issue doing this.” ~ Candace Knoebel, Author of Born in Flames
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
Her head ached, the cold air wrapped around her bare skin, and the damp earth was hard against her cheek. Amber slowly opened her eyes. Was she still dreaming? She thought so. The tall trees that stretched to the heavens along with the lush green vegetation seemed all too familiar. Almost every night for the past few weeks she had dreamt of this exact place.
The dream was always the same…
She was running, terrified, but from what, she never knew. The more she ran, the stranger she felt. Her vision sharpened and her sense of smell brought forward such overpowering scents. Amber could smell the sweet nectar of every flower in the woods. The musty smell of moss and damp tree trunks filled her nostrils and relaxed her. She was at home in this strange place.
In one swift movement, she was on all fours and running faster than ever. Whatever she was trying to escape was no match for her speed. A sudden movement to her right brought Amber to a quick halt. The heartbeat of the tiny rabbit was almost deafening. She could taste its warm blood before she even took a bite. The poor creature didn’t stand a chance. That’s when she realized that she was not running from something, but after something. With lightning speed she grabbed the rabbit, crushing its small frame with her powerful hands. The rush of the kill empowered her…
Amber never saw further into her dreams, always jerking awake before she saw the monster she had become. Not wanting to feel the sensation of joy as she ripped the animal’s heart out and drank its blood. She’d never had such vivid dreams before; she didn’t even have a vivid imagination, but since coming to CFU they were becoming more frequent.
Only now, as she lay on the ground looking up at the dark sky through the branches of the trees, she knew this was not a dream. She lay in this strange place, not confident and powerful like in her dreams, but confused and vulnerable. The air was thick with a fog that seemed to cling to the lower branches of the trees, and although it was cold, her body was on fire. Amber tried to sit and the stiffness from lying in one position shot through her side. She stretched her body, but it didn’t help ease the pain. Amber listened, trying to hear anything, but there was nothing. The silence was frightening. She lifted a hand to her clammy forehead. The perspiration ran down her spine and her hands were wet and sticky. Her breathe came in quick gasps with the fear that rose inside her every second she sat in this cold, dark, damp forest.
Amber lifted herself slowly, testing her legs for balance. Her blue cotton pajamas were badly messed up by the thick mud that clung to them. She walked slowly, not really knowing which direction to go in. She never knew how far into the woods she was. Should she just choose a path to take and hope it leads to civilization, back to campus? The fear in her grew stronger and the fuzziness in her head made it difficult to focus. Amber stumbled along, slipping over the mossy ground. As she walked, not recognizing anything in her path, a strange sense of familiarity welled up inside her. She continued forward and when she caught sight of the road not too far ahead, her heart beat faster, relief washing over her.
That is when she heard it piercing the silence. The long and anguished howl of a wolf. It sounded close, too close. The fear gripped her again. She found the strength to move a bit faster as the adrenalin began to pump through her veins and she ran toward the road. Was it her imagination or did she hear the snapping of branches behind her? She was not alone; a fierce growl confirmed that. Amber turned slowly and stared back into the thick bushes she had just ran through, but she saw nothing. She sensed, however, that there was something watching her and whatever it was, was not friendly. Goosebumps spread over her skin and she turned to run again. The sound of something behind her forced her to quicken her pace.
Amber raced forward and, clearing the remaining trees, finally made it to the road, landing on the graveled path. A sudden flash of light stopped her dead in her tracks. She was blinded by a set of headlights only a short distance from her that were growing brighter with each passing second. There was no way that the person driving could stop in time. This was not the way she had ever imagined dying. Amber screamed and covered her face with her hands, as if that would lessen the impact of the car as it hit her fragile frame. She waited for it to strike her. She was prepared to die now, only because she knew there was no way to avoid being hit. But the pain she was expecting never came. Had it happened so quickly she hadn’t even felt it? Was her life over? No! She was still breathing, crouched on the road, her hands over her face. By some miracle the car had stopped, only inches from her.
Amber’s breath came in quick gasps and her lungs burned. She just couldn’t get the air she craved and tears were streaming down her face. She crouched further until her cheek touched the warm asphalt. Her mind swam, remembering the dreams and the odd place where she had just woken up. The howl she had heard played over and over in her mind, like an evil echo sent to torment her. Amber tried to focus her thoughts, but she knew it was no use. Her breathing was getting worse and the loss of oxygen was making it hard for her to keep her eyes open. She heard someone speak; their voice was muffled, but they were calling her name. She caught the hint of a southern accent but couldn’t be sure because the person speaking sounded like they were miles away. A blurry figure appeared next to her. Strong arms lifted her, then the blackness took over and she was gone.
1 When did you first start writing?
I’ve been writing for what feels like forever. I used to plot stories and create characters on my Grandmother’s old typewriter, but I never got further than a few pages before jumping on to the next adventure. I only really started writing complete stories when I reached 5th grade. My creative writing teacher, Mrs Bower, encouraged me to write and she even turned a blind eye every time I exceeded the allotted story word limit by a few thousand words. My passion for writing waned a bit when I left high school but I found it again a few years ago, and I’ve never been more excited to be living my dream.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
The idea of writing as a profession never crossed my mind until I finished Therian. Growing up I wanted to be a marine biologist, then I wanted to own my own hotel, and I finally settled on being an event planner. While studying I got into finance and that is where I have been ever since. I love number-crunching but I really want to get more involved in the publishing industry, and not only as an author. I would also love to own a bakery/coffeeshop/bookstore, yup, all three in one. Hey, a girl’s gotta have dreams, right?
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?
I have always loved paranormal romances, so it seemed fitting that this was the genre to go for. I have recently found a love for contemporary romances though, so I’m branching out, but I will target a more adult audience for this genre.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?
My inspiration to write comes from so many different things. I draw inspiration from every day interaction with people around me. I’m inspired by true life stories and experiences. I also have a bit of a habit of re-writing movie plots. If something doesn’t go quite as I thought it would, I make up my own story and this often sparks a new idea for a character or a plot for a new story.
5 What has your publishing experience been like?
Exciting. I will never forget the first email I received from my publisher, Juanita Samborski, of 48fourteen. It was 5am, and all I wanted to do was call everyone I knew to tell them about the offer. I squealed and there was some dancing involved.
The road to getting Therian out into the world was a little stressful, only because I was a newbie and had no idea what to expect, or what was expected of me. Many hours of sleep were lost editing my manuscript, but I didn’t care. I was on such a high and nothing could dampen my spirits. I can’t wait to go through the experience again with my next release.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
It depends on what stage of the writing process I’m in. When I start plotting and outlining a story I prefer to curl up on my reading chair with a pen and notebook. Once I’ve jotted down all the important points of my story I move over to a writing desk and continue on my laptop.
I prefer total peace and quiet when writing because I’m easily distracted.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
As names pop into my head I write them down, and then I match them with different characters. Sometimes names will jump out at me while I’m on the net, or reading a magazine etc. For place names, I usually look around me for inspiration. I combine street names or the names of different suburbs to come up with something new.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character in Therian has to be Tayelon…no wait, Amber…no, no, no, it’s Luna! Oh how can you make me choose!!
If I really have to choose just one, I’d say Amber is my favorite. She goes through so much in the first book and discovers some devastating things about her family, but I particularly love the complexity of her character as the story continues. There’s a lot more to her and no one should underestimate her powers. Readers will have to wait for book two to find out what I mean by that *winks*
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
Writing has taught me patience and perseverance. Writing is not as easy as it seems, and if you do not have the determination to go the distance, you will crumble before you’ve even started. I have a profound respect for authors and I’m proud of my own accomplishments. The important thing is to never give up.
10 How did you/do you market your work?
There are so many ways for authors to market their work these days, and think it’s important to find one or two ways that really work for you than trying every route. You may find yourself spending more time marketing than getting down to the task of writing.
I think Twitter is one of the most amazing marketing tools, no matter what type of business or product needs marketing. Facebook can be useful but it’s not my main choice. Obviously book sites like Goodreads etc. are a great way to market books. The aim is to bring as much attention to your work as possible and I think that reviewers are the most important form of marketing for any author or publisher. Book bloggers are invaluable. It’s amazing what Blog Tours and the like can do for the sales of a single book.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
It was surreal. The day my publisher’s site went live, I logged on and there was my baby. My hard work— weeks and weeks of blood, sweat and tears, set free for the entire world to see. I went through a range of emotions. I was excited and nervous, but there was such a great sense of pride that nothing else mattered.
12 Favorite authors?
There are so many! Laurell K Hamilton, Melissa Marr, Penelope King, David Estes, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Katie McGarry, Stephen Leather…I could go on for days, but these are just a few of my top picks.
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
Yes, although I prefer to call it “procrastination”. Sometimes I’ll sit with my laptop and write for hours, other times I sit for hours and write nothing. It’s the latter that allows my fear of (mentally) not being able to write to creep in and fester to the point where I’d rather not even try than feel the anguish of not being able to. The only way to get over this is to focus and get my head back in the game, even if it means shifting focus to another project for a while.
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Read, read, read, but don’t allow your writing time to suffer because of this. Write as much as possible every day. Keep an open mind and take in as much as you can from fellow authors. another important lesson any new writer needs to learn is to never take criticism to heart. Don’t allow a bad review to bring out your bad side.
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?
I’m currently working on the second book in The Bloody Crescent Trilogy. Tainted is a little more dark and intense than the first book. New characters will be introduced, whilst the characters from the first book will have many new challenges to face. Amber also has a very difficult decision to make, one that could mean life or death for a very important character…but that’s all I can say…sorry !!
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