Monday, April 27, 2009

Taking A Twittercation

It's Monday again. Another week starts and I feel like I have twittered away too much time recently. Literally Twittered too much. Although it is fun and interesting talking with everyone I have to take a break and get back to writing for a while. Well, at least writing more 140 characters at a time. It's not just Twitter that seems to be getting too much attention lately. The Internet is an excellent marketing and social tool, but it can also take your focus off other things. For me right now that's writing. Spring is quickly crashing into Summer and Summer means I will have even less quiet time in my house to write. I have a lot I want to get done before school gets out and my husband's vacation days come around. That way when I want to enjoy time with my family I won't be feeling like I should be writing.

My main goal is to finish my contemporary romance and get it back out in the mail and finish (or at least make great progress on) the two additional stories I have floating around my head, with the characters stuck where I left them. At the same time I have been thinking about a sequel to The Truth Lies in the Dark, and the story is already forming in my head. Sometimes I swear the characters have a life of their own, or maybe just my imagination does. Either way I have to get busy getting the stories already in progress out to make room for the ones that are starting to take root.

It's not realistic to say that I will not be on line at all while I am working toward these goals, but my time will be more focused on maintaining communication and marketing for my book. I will be checking my emails and occasionally checking in with my Twitter friends, as well as other writing groups. I will be announcing the winner of my Love Your Library contest on Friday May 1st. Good luck to everyone who entered to win a signed copy of The Truth Lies in the Dark and a copy for your favorite public library. If you haven't entered click on the picture of my book to the right of the screen for more details.

As always if anyone has a question or comment I would love to hear from you.

Keep in Touch,
Kristin : )

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Clean Fest! Just some good, clean, fun?

It's Friday, and it's supposed to be beautiful here in CT all weekend. First thing on my list is to unplug all video games, and yes even the computer, and kick everyone outside. So far the Spring has brought many April showers, which means my house has been crawling with kids of all ages. With kids comes germs, I know it sounds terrible to say but it's true. If you have to remind your children to wash their hands before eating, and they glance down at their open palms that are embedded with dirt from playing basketball and argue that they already did, you know they are germ breeders. Which brings me to the second thing on my weekend list.

I will rally the troops for a good old fashioned Spring Clean Fest. Not your everyday surface cleaning and clutter stuffing that gets you through temporarily. I am talking the open all the windows, line up the bags for donation, relocate the spider condos kind of cleaning. It is so much fun that I would feel guilty not involving my kids and my husband. And trust me they are so happy to be a part of it. I can tell by their big smiles (which for some reason I can only see when I look at them upside down) and mutterings of sweet thoughts under their breath.

If you're going to hold your own Spring Clean Fest (doesn't the name sound fun?) there are some things to consider. You can't throw something like this together willy nilly. I just love that phrase. Throw that in during the event and your family will really think you've flipped; which makes them more likely to do everything you say for fear of you snapping further.

Ok, like I said having a successful Spring Clean Fest takes some planning and a bit of evil manipulation. Back when I was a rooky Mom I would treat this event like the opening day of Army boot camp. It never really caught on (kids didn't like being called maggots and have you ever tried to get more than 1 push up out of a 5 year old?) Now that I'm a seasoned veteran I have learned a thing or two about motivation, positive reinforcement, and consequences. This is how I put this knowledge to good use.

Motivation: What better motivation for a household of mostly guys? That's right, the promise of good food and dessert. (if you were thinking something, shame on you, maggot...drop & give me 20) Sorry that was the boot camp Mom creeping back. I picked up a rack of ribs (sorry to all vegans, but mmmm) that would make the Flintstones jealous. Nothing like the smell of slow cooking BBQ ribs to motivate a family. Then the promise of home baked cookies or brownies and I have hooked my daughter too.

Positive Reinforcement: That is easy. The more we get finished, the happier I am, the happier I am, the happier my husband is, and so on and so on. It's like positive reinforcement dominoes.

And finally consequences: I like to use any opportunity to teach my kids about the consequences of their actions. No, this is really where the bit of evil manipulation comes in. I have learned, or noticed with frequency, that if you make each child responsible for the room or area that they do the most damage in they tend to be more careful after.

For example, my oldest works outside and occasionally with cows. He insists that there is nothing on his shoes as he kicks them off by the door. So he gets that room to clean out in the Spring Clean Fest. I can tell by the greenish color to his face that he realizes there may actually be something on his shoes after all and he begins to kick them off in the garage (for the next week anyway).

My middle son gets the upstairs computer/game room, which he always swears he and friends clean up after their weekly sleep over. After 3 full bags of garbage and countless empty soda and juice bottles, I can see that he is even questioning his definition of clean.

My youngest son gets the exciting job of washing hand prints off of the walls and door frames. Because it is not enough that he will very soon be taller than me, but he must jump and touch ever surface above his head to prove it.

My daughter gets the windows. With spray bottle and towel in hand she makes our world a little brighter. Which is fitting since she loves to breath on them all and write her name in the fog so that when I cook something steamy her name starts appearing everywhere like some ghostly horror movie. I'm not kidding, it can be unsettling. I keep waiting for her to start writing REDRUM like the son in The Shining (so glad we don't have an ax).

The only thing I haven't figured out is how I always get stuck with the bathroom. I guess I'm going to have to wait for them to get their own places for that consequence to come full circle.

So there you have it. Use these tips or make up your own ways to make Spring Clean Fest a huge success at your house.

Happy Cleaning! (if there is such a thing)

Kristin :D

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The More I Catch Up...the more I fall behind.

I haven't added a new post in a while. I have been busy with some new projects on and off line. Now I think I have things under control, at least for now. This is what I have been up to.

I don't know about you busy parents, but this time of year is crazy. Everything seems to go even faster as school and the kids extra activities come to an end for the season. I know there are still two months left, but everything seems to be at fever pitch. Like every teacher and coach is just realizing that summer is almost here and they haven't done half of what they had planned to. The past week I have been helping my kids juggle projects, prepare for field trips, and make sure they maintain their day to day assignments. At the same time I am inundated with summer camp offers from all of their after school activities, which my kids beg and plead to do because their friends are.

I know the outcome of saying yes to summer activities, it's not good. Once my kids are out of school they don't want to get up for baseball or soccer camps, or anything else. They, like me, enjoy a nonscheduled summer. That is the reason I became a substitute teacher, so I could have the same hours and vacations as my kids. I know, what was I thinking?

As crazy as it sounds, I love spending time with my kids. I am also a huge believer that boredom breeds creativity. Being over scheduled is unavoidable during the school year, but summer for us is a time to slow down, relax, and take a deep breath before the next school year begins. Believe me, I know I am fortunate to have the choice and opportunity to stay home all summer. Many parents today do not. Both incomes are needed in order to survive. Thankfully, there are many day cares and baby sitters who feel the same as me. They make it their job to care for children and make sure that they are safe, fed, and given the chance to remain children as long as possible. For that they deserve a lot of credit.

My on line projects are not as crazy, but time consuming on their own. I started a new contest blog, as many may already aware of. Love Your Library is a contest that I think is a Win, Win. One lucky reader will win a signed copy of my book and a second copy will be donated in their name to a public library of their choice. I have been getting some great feedback on it. Imagine how great it would be if all new authors offered this. Public libraries would be jam packed with great new books to offer their patrons, and for not much more than a regular book giveaway would cost an author. If you haven't entered for your chance to win, you can follow this link or click on the picture of my book to the right of the screen. Good Luck to you and your Public Library!

I have also joined a brand new group dedicated to authors and readers of Independent books. I am excited to be one of the first author members on Indiereaders. The Grand Opening is April 23, 2009. Be sure to stop by and check it out. It is looking like a very promising group with lots of friendly and helpful people.

Well, that is most of what I have been up to. You don't want to hear about the daily battles with the dishes, and that mountain of laundry that I continue to try to turn into a molehill. These are all losing battles in a war with no end.

Have a great day and feel free to leave any comments or questions about writing or anything. The best way to help each other is through communication. Tell me what you've been up to with your own project, or just vent about your own crazy busy life.

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You planned a Virtual Book Tour. What's Next?

Now that you have decided to do your own Virtual Book Tour you have to let people know about it. The reason for doing the tour in the first place is to benefit both you and the blog you are a guest on. You want to generate attention for your book that will hopefully increase sales. The host of the blog is hoping that having an author as a guest will bring more readers to their site. So you don't want to rely on the host to do all of the advertising, just as the host should not rely solely on the author to bring more fans. If both parties do their own promoting the odds that the blog and your book get more attention will improve. But how do you generate attention?

There are so many ways to reach people online. You can announce the tour to any online community that you belong to, write articles, and post it in every public site that allows announcements. Just like the planning and writing for the tour, this will take some effort. But, also like the tour, all of the effort and time is worth it if you can help your book succeed. The following are some of the resources I used to announce my virtual book tour. They are all free and fairly easy to use.

As a writer, you probably are already a member of one or more groups. If you are not start joining some. Not only are they are great places to announce your successes and events, but they are also great for exchanging ideas and supporting each other. These are some of the groups that I am a member of. There are many more great group out there. If you know of some tell me about them and I will post them for others to check out. A network set up by marketing expert John Kremer Writing advice and support A place for writers, readers, reviewers to talk about books

When I first started researching marketing and promoting I had no idea where to begin when it came to articles. Websites and other authors said to write and publish articles about my book and any events I was planning. I remembering thinking, 'How much more can I write in a day and how much is this going to cost?' Be careful of where you look for publishing an article; some sites charge you for distribution. I found some that did not charge anything as long as you kept your membership at the basic level. Don't feel cheap about looking for free options. There are many things you will have and want to pay for in advertising, and others that you can and should use for free. Here are some of the sites I found that allow you to submit articles and some offer much more. Again if you know of more, let me know so we can share the information. Offers many services to authors like; distributes articles and press releases, and includes your book in their book store w/a link to purchase. Allows you to write and distribute articles. All submissions are professionally edited before they are are accepted for distribution. (Basic level is free. Any other level, adding links, or advanced distribution will cost more) Offers authors their own book directory, articles, and advice on marketing

Posting your announcement on public spaces online is the easiest form of advertisement. It is pretty much like word of mouth. You don't have to prepare a professional looking article or promo, just a quick note to let everyone know when and where your tour will take place, and if they allow it put a link to your own website or main page that shows your tour schedule.

The most obvious public space is your own website. There are many free and low cost website sponsors to choose from. If you are like me, and lost when it came to starting my own, you're going to want to start with a free one. You may even like it and choose to stay with it. I found that google offers free websites and even walks you through setting it up.

Other great public places to announce your book and events include CraigsList, FaceBook, AuthorsDen, joining your favorite television or radio show networks, and of course Twitter. I love Twitter! It is a great professional and fun social network. It is easy to start an account and many different interesting people to follow. The best thing about Twitter is you can announce each stop of your tour and connect with people in the publishing field in real time.

My twitter account is:

I hope that you have found something here to help you in the marketing and promoting of your book. Leave me a comment if you have something that has worked for you and would like to share with other authors.

As always, I wish everyone all of the luck and success in your book tours, sales, and future projects.

Keep in Touch,

Kristin Callender :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to School...Back to Work...Where's the Break?

Spring Break is over! Woo Hoo! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and love spending time with them, but this past week has been tough. Maybe it was because it was a rainy, cold, can't send the kids outside when they are bickering or playing a fierce game of basketball in the hallway kind of week. Then add the fact that my daughter was not feeling well for most of it and it was the week before Easter. All of that may have something to do with the fact that my head is still spinning when I think about everything I managed to get done, including writing almost everyday, and throbbing over what I did not get to (laundry, cleaning up house after some rabbit pumped up on sugar ransacked it, and of course the bills are not going to pay themselves).

Now it's Monday and everyone is back to school and work; my house is silent and I can't help thinking how fast it all is passing. I know that I can't be the only one who feels like everything is moving faster and the days are filled with more things to do. I feel like I wake up everyday with a longer To Do list and go to bed stressing about what I didn't do. I think the holidays make me feel this way. They are just not as relaxing and enjoyable as they used to be, as they should be.

For the past few years I have been trying to find ways to change the hectic feeling that come along with holidays. We have always spent them with our families, making a point to stop by at my husband's parents and mine. We are lucky enough (99.9% of the time anyway) to live close to both sides and ALL siblings. This had been a tradition we have always, until recent years, enjoyed. I mean food and desserts at every turn and none of the mess at your own house, who wouldn't love that? I don't know about you, but helping someone else clean up after a big meal never seems as bad as being stuck cleaning up your own.

The problem is, as every one's lives get more hectic this tradition has turned into more of a tug of war and my family is at the center of the rope. There are siblings on both sides and they have children, so finding a time that everyone can meet up has become a challenge. Anyone from a large family knows that the only solution for challenges are many, many, many phone calls between family members; hashing out dinner times and who can make it for when. Unfortunately, since we have the most children out of all of our respective siblings we are the ones that get the brunt of the calls. I love our collective families, but I miss those relaxing holidays when you could just show up when you could and stay as long as you wanted and then move on to the next house.

I know it shouldn't surprise me that after all of that I sit here in a silent house feeling a little burnt out. Life is just too short to let all of this overshadow the real reason, in my mind anyway, for holidays. It should be a time to enjoy family and friends, celebrate life, and eat until you can't sit up right. I am seriously thinking about changing the tradition and having holiday meals at home.

So this brings me to ask you, how do you celebrate? I'm not asking what your religious stance is, just how you choose to celebrate your life moments. Do you spend the day hopping from house to house, do you have everyone come to your house, or something in between?

I am interested to hear what you think about this and if you get the same rushed and hectic feelings before and after the holidays. Leave a comment here or, if you would rather not have it published you can email me at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How To: Do your own virtual book tour

I have had fun with this blog so far, but now it's time to get serious. I have been getting some emails from other writers asking about my recent virtual book tour. Most want to know how I planned it and where to start. So, I decided to post the steps I followed here in hopes that it helps others interested in doing their own tour.

There are 3 important things to remember when starting this; be professional, be prompt, and be thankful. I will talk more about these as I explain.

Be Professional: The first thing I will say is it takes a lot of research and work on your part to pull together a book tour, but on the bright side it can all be done from your computer. I first heard about virtual book tours while researching real book tours. I had my 1st one coming up and was asking other authors for tips and advice. The idea of an online book tour peeked my interest. It is an inexpensive way to get your book out there, and you never know it could get more attention than you ever imagined.

Here is how I started.

I simply googled Virtual Book Tours and familiarized myself with what they were exactly. Then moved on to google book related blogs. With a pad of paper I wrote down the url of every blog that covered books similar to mine. This is a long process because you're going to want to go to each blog to make sure it is one that fits your book, or you're wasting every one's time. Have an idea in mind of how many stops you want to have on your tour and an approximate start date. The end date can be determined after you finish booking. I had 20 stops as a goal for my tour, and ended up with 18. Looking back I realize that I could have done less. It really isn't about the number of stops; it is more about the quality you put into each.

Once you have a good list of possible blogs go back and write all of the contact info; the host, email, and something that shows you have personally researched that blog. Now you compose an email to begin asking the hosts to be a part of your tour. This is where being professional is very important. Compose a draft of an email that you will send out. The same one can be used, just make sure you change the host and blog name each time.

This is an example of the email that I used. You can plug in your info and use this or make your own. Don't forget to put Virtual Book Tour or something that clearly states your intention for the email in the subject line.
Dear (insert name of host),

I am a new author and I am planning a Blog Book Tour to promote my book, The Truth Lies in the Dark. It is a mystery/romance about a woman who lost her memory as a child and then, as an adult finds out that she was raised with the identity of a dead child. Who is she and more importantly, who is there to help her and who is there to make sure that the truth the dark?

I would love to add (name of blog) to my tour. Contact me to schedule an interview or if you would like me to submit a guest post. I will be posting an announcement of the entire blog tour with links on my website as soon as I have finished scheduling. The Truth Lies in the Dark is available at It is currently the 'Featured Book of the Month' on

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kristin Callender

(add your full contact info here)

Leaving the option for an interview or a guest post allows the host to choose which they have time or blog space available for. If you have copies of your book on hand you could offer some for review or for contests on a few blogs. But remember, the idea is to keep this cost efficient. Pick a few that are really suited to your type of book and request a review and let the hosts ask you if they are interested in giving away a book on their blog.

Once you start getting responses from blogs you can start planning the dates. Try not to have them all on the same days if possible. Sometimes that is unavoidable. What I did was offer each host a few days and then would not offer those to any other blog host until we had agreed on a set date.

The hosts will then either send you some questions that they would like answered or have you submit a guest post. What you write for a guest post is usually up to you. Of course you want it to include something about your book, but you also want it to include a personal connection to the specific blog you are a guest of. After all, each blog has followers that like what the blog has to offer them and many will not know who the new author is visiting. For example, for a writing blog I talked about my own writing process and for a blog that was written by a librarian I included how the main character used libraries to research her past. Be careful not to repeat the same exact information on each blog. You may gain a following on your tour, but will also loose it quickly if they are not getting anything new out of you.

Be Prompt: Send back the interview questions as quickly as you can. Don't rush through them. This is your chance to introduce yourself and your book to new readers so treat it like you were sending your responses to an editor at a big publishing house. Once you are completely satisfied with it send it out. Trust me, the hosts will appreciate not having to hunt it down later.

After the date was set and I sent out my writing, I would add that blog to my website. I still have the schedule posted on my website if you want to see how I set it up.

Be Thankful: Make sure that you thank the hosts at every chance. I started each guest post with a special thanks to the hosts and readers. After each tour stop was finished I sent another email out to thank the host again for being part of the tour. It may not seem like a big deal, but many of the hosts have other jobs and responsibilities outside of the blog. They will appreciate the effort and respect you show by being professional, prompt and thankful.

Do not get frustrated if you don't become an overnight success from a virtual book tour. There are no guarantees that it will sell thousands of copies, but if you remember these 3 important things it will help you build a supportive network for your future writing. And like I said before, you never know, you may get more attention than you ever imagined. I shared an example of that in yesterday's post.

I hope this helps with your tour. If you find that it has let me know. Even if you find that it did not work for you tell me about that too. If you have any questions or comments about any part of teh writing process feel free to leave them here or email me.

Thanks for taking the time read this and I look forward to hearing from you :)

Kristin Callender

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring 3 Problems with the pact

Here I thought I was doing so well with my pact to write everyday. As crazy as this school vacation has been I found time both Monday and Tuesday to work on my contemporary romance manuscript. Today is another story, and it's not that I haven't tried. Every time I locked myself in my room for a few moments of uninterrupted writing time, something would come up (usually on 2 legs and called me mom).

I think today is worse because my daughter is back to herself again. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that she is no longer sick. But when she is back to normal the house volume goes up. She has a lot of her father in her and loves to annoy her older brothers at every chance she gets. Which means I was right back to being the referee to all shouting matches, and if that isn't distracting enough I stepped in something in the kitchen that my sock literally stuck to. So there I am, looking down at my bare foot in disbelief (when did my nail polish chip away?).

"Hey guys? Who spilled this and what is it?" I ask, already knowing that Not Me was the culprit. This time no one blames him, instead they one by one peak in to see what I am trying to chisel off the floor. Their looks of confusion and wonder over what it could be are almost believable...almost. And just as quickly as they appeared to look they one by one tip toe back out of the doorway. This brings me to another question. Why is it that when I am in my room, working on my computer, they each have something so important to ask or just have to talk about what so and so said or did? But when I am on my hands and knees trying to curse a mysterious sticky mess off the kitchen floor they all disappear?

Now I finally get back in my room, but I can not work on my manuscript because I have to mail some copies of my book. One to a contest winner from my recent book tour and another to a producer (that's right I said producer). I received an email the other night from a film producer in California. She is wondering about the film rights on my book and would like a copy to consider it for her next project.

My first reaction: I jumped up and kind of screeched and then ran downstairs to tell my husband and kids. We all jump around the room, well me and the kids, my husband gives a cool, "I told you it was that good."

My second reaction: As soon as the excitement died down and the reality set in my cynical side took over. This can't be real, but all of the information seemed true when I looked it up. Then I thought, even if it is real she still has to read it and decide if it is something she wants to make a movie about. I was going back and forth about whether I should blog about this. Part of me afraid to jinx it and part of me afraid to have to share my rejection, should that be the case. But I started this blog to share the good and the bad about my publishing journey. So now we will have to wait it out together.

So I get the copies ready and have to type up a quick note to the producer. No big deal. It will only take a minute and then it's on to the manuscript. I should know better than to let my brain think the words, no big deal. Because it makes whatever easy task I had become the biggest deal. This time was no different.

After painstakingly going over each and every word in the very brief letter I gingerly hit the print button and smile as I hear the printer start grunting and groaning. The paper pops out, and it's blank. Out of ink. Are you kidding me? I try everything to make it work. Surely if I shake the cartridge and replace it there will be enough for this little old letter. No such luck.

I round the kids up for the road trip, which is not hard to do. They have been asking me to take them to the candy store all morning. What throws me is that my sixteen year old wants to come too. Now anyone with teenagers knows they do not want to be anywhere in public with their younger siblings and their mom, unless they want something. Another well known fact is they are not going to be satisfied with candy like the younger ones.

Now I won't bore you with the details of what he promised to do for chores if I agreed to buy him this new have to have video game. I will tell you it didn't end in his favor. I did buy him candy though, which he took with a scowl.

We get back home and now my printer won't release the cartridges. It just keeps moving side to side as if saying, you want this...oh no you don't. Now I have to find the manual and figure out why this is happening. I think it's mad at me for trying to trick it earlier.

Here it is 5:00 at night and I am really ready to throw in the towel. I will count my blog venting as my writing time today. A cold beer by the fire while I read this printer manual sounds pretty good right now.

Tomorrow I will write double to make up for today. After all, it's no big deal...right?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring 2 Who peed on the seat??

Before I get into my writing progress for day 2, I will update day 1.

After a very busy day; sick child, smoke alarms, normal chaos that comes when all my kids are home, I actually did make time to write. So it seems this pact I have made with myself is working, or the fact that I told everyone about it has motivated me to keep it. Whatever the reason, I did work on my nearly finished contemporary romance, making some changes and rewriting the first chapter. I had to take a moment to pat myself on the back. The way my day started yesterday, I really didn't think I would get to it at all.

Ok, now on to day 2.

That's right, first thing this morning I had a notorious visitor in my house. The finder and eater of all junk food, the one who always leaves out the milk or doesn't fully cover the cheese. Yup, "Not Me" was here today. I think we all get a visit from this trouble maker every now and again, although I have yet to meet someone who has actually seen what this Not Me kid looks like. Who left the TV on? Not Me, my kids respond. Who spilled the Cheerios all over the floor? Not Me they all offer. Well, I didn't even know that kid was here so early until I had the misfortune of walking into the bathroom after him. How do I know it was a him? You tell me...

I finish my gallon of coffee and go to brush my teeth and get ready for the day. There was no line, that's a good start. I don't even mind the wet mound of towels that I trip on, but do wonder if all of family is seriously allergic to hanging a towel back up. As I hang them I notice the tiny droplets all over the toilet and the floor.

"Who peed on the seat?" I call out in general, but directed it at my son, who happens to be the only male in the family home this morning.

"Not Me," He offers, a little too quickly. Now I am thinking, 'What is wrong with this Not Me character? Does he have a sprinkler head that he urinates from?' There was that much...mist, I guess is the best way to explain. So, all joking aside I call him in to look me in the eye and try to blame Not Me again; which by now I think you agree is definitely a male. No offense intended by that assumption, it's just not genetically possible for a female to miss something she is planted on.

My son comes in with a look of innocent denial almost looks offended that I could think it was him. I turn on the bathroom light and point. He looks at the seat and then the floor and says, "Well, I know I didn't get any on the floor. That was definitely Not Me."

My bathroom is now completely bleached and sparkly clean and now I am deciding if I should invent something that would alert the males in my house when they have missed their mark. It would just politely hand them some toilet paper and subtly remind them that if do not clean up after themselves their mother, or wife (oh yeah bad aim comes in all sizes) will invite Not Me over and let him have a go in their rooms.

I am happy to say that I did put in some good time to writing today already. So far so good...we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Feel free to share your encounters with Not Me, or any other crazy thing that distracts your day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring 1

Sorry, not that kind of Spring Break. There will be no binge drinking or flashing here, and the only beads you'll find are the ones my daughter spilled out of her million piece craft kit and then pushed under her dresser. You guessed it, it's the kids Spring Break from school. This means my house will be jam packed with kids and loud noises. Then to top it all off I went and made a pact with myself that I would find time to write, at least a little, everyday this week. What was I thinking?

I made this pact because I have been working on promoting my first book; attending book signings, compiling mailing lists and planning an extensive Virtual Book Tour. With all of this and my crazy busy family life, my writing has been put on the back burner. Here is how it is going so far today...

My oldest son leaves for work, then my husband. Other 3 kids are still sleeping. I tip toe upstairs to write and my youngest son wakes up. Before his eyes are open he has the upstairs television on a video game controller in his hand. Why do they make those controller so noisy anyway? Before I can bribe him to come back up in 1 hour my daughter is calling me. She has a stomach ache :(

So I get her settled on the couch with a blanket and some juice and my middle son wakes up. He wants a ride to his buddy's house. I explain that his sister doesn't feel well and can not take a car ride yet. He starts calling around to all of his friends that already have their licenses, and now I have stomach ache. It is now pouring outside and, just when I am gearing up for argument that is sure to follow when I tell him he can't go, my oldest son comes home. He works outside and the rain gave him a half day. Whew...crisis averted. He takes his brother to his friends.

My daughter progressively feels worse and worse, so I call the pediatrician to ask what else I can try to calm her stomach. As I am on hold my youngest son begins to wither away in front of my eyes (because he is reeeaaalllyy starving). The nurse says she will call back, so I help him whip together a quick lunch. With the soup on the stove, and my daughter content for the moment I turn on the radio and start cleaning up the kitchen. Hearing the radio tricks my mind that cleaning isn't as bad and monotonous as it is.

As I am filling the dishwasher I hear the soup bubbling over and then the phone starts ringing. Thinking it is the doctor I answer and before I can turn down the stove the smoke alarm starts screaming above me. Now I am rushing to find something I can wave under it to make it stop. It is not the doctor on the phone, it's my husband. He deadpans me with, "What are you cooking?" It doesn't help my case when I argue that I do not use the smoke alarm as a cooking timer and then do just that.

So, now the day is almost over and I have yet to sit down and write, unless this counts :) There is still time though. My daughter's feeling better, my middle son is safely dropped off, my youngest son is fed and happy, until the next scheduled starving (around 5:00), my oldest is well he is old enough to take care of himself, and I am shutting off all distractions (mainly the Internet) and writing.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hi Everyone and Welcome to my new blog!

I am excited to have my own blog! Well excited and nervous. I am hardly an expert on writing, publishing, or marketing books. Who I am is a busy mom of four children, a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, neighbor, substitute teacher, and lifelong learner. What do I hope to do with this blog? Share writing stories and tips with aspiring writers and just take the time to laugh at all of the crazy moments life can throw at you. I will be as honest about the good and not so good parts of being a published author today and continue to find my own balance between work and family.

I recently finished a virtual book tour to promote my new mystery, The Truth Lies in the Dark. I was interviewed, my book reviewed, and was a guest on eighteen book related blogs. It was a lot of work, but also fun getting to know the hosts and learning about new blogs. Many of them I still stop by to see what is new. Check my blog list for the ones I visited and some I have found interesting since then. Also, be sure to check out some of my favorite websites for writers and some just for fun. If you know of a great one that I have not found, please put it in your comment so I can check it out.

My favorite part of the whole virtual tour was the great comments I received from readers and emails from aspiring writers. Many were curious how a busy mom of four, with no previous knowledge of publishing, managed to write a book and get it published. I am more than happy to share my experiences with everyone. If I can help others realize their own publishing dreams, or whatever their personal goals may be, I am happy to.

So I hope that if you have any questions or comments about writing, publishing, marketing, or promoting you will feel comfortable to discuss them here. I am not an expert, but can tell you what has worked for me and what has not. And remember, getting published is only part of the journey not where it stops. Being a writer takes hard work, dedication, and the ability to believe in yourself even after repeated rejections.

Ok, with that said I hope you will stop by again and see how my publishing journey is going and share your own stories.