Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How far I've come and preparing for Indie Romance Convention

October marks a year for me since my first short story was published in Evernight Vol. 2. I look back and I'm amazed with how much I've accomplished in a year. There have been trials and rough times, but over all I'm in love with my new life as an Author and a stay at home mom. There used to be a blog post up on my old blog about how I attacked my husband when I found out I was going to be published. This was it! I was going to get my foot in the door, finally! After trying for over five years to get anything out, it was going to

[caption id="attachment_198" align="alignleft" width="300"]I'll be rocking this at the convention on the day of the book signing! I'll be rocking this at the convention on the day of the book signing![/caption]

happen.

When that came out, I had a couple inboxes from people looking for more of my writing. After talking with my husband, who declared, "Make a choice and stick to it!", I decided that I wanted to self-publish my first novella. After lots of hard work (and not just by me) I polished up Midnight Symphony, got a cover, got an editor and released it to the public. I was terrified. Slowly, oh so slowly, the reviews started to trickle in, some from friends, some from bloggers I had contacted and some from strangers. There are good reviews and bad reviews, but no matter, I'm an adult and I can handle bad reviews. It comes with the career.

A week or so before I released Midnight Symphony, I had a wonderful experience at a local convention thanks to Kathryn.  I won't go into details on how much that has helped me out, you can read about it here. The thing is, there are a lot of people who have helped me get this far, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.

Because of meeting Kathryn, I learned of an anthology looking for Steampunk submissions. Well, I had never written Steampunk before, so I thought I'd try my hand at it. Surprisingly, I was accepted and had one more thing to add to my list of growing titles. Penny Dread Tales Vol. 3 was a great opportunity for me.

So life was good and then In the Light of Moon was close to being released, I made the decision to make a separate fan page for the DWC series. I had released the free short blackdwcstory (The Touch of Night) which was doing well, and I wanted a place just for those fans since that will be a long series. DWC: Dark War Chronicles. I googled it before I completely settled on the name, but the name for the series was decided a long time ago, but I caught some drama for it. Okay, I was called a few nasty things, but I remained professional and did not go out of my way to see the drama nor did I respond to it. When I released In the Light of the Moon, I had a good friend accuse me of stealing. Sadly, I cut ties because I didn't want to deal with the drama and the distrust. (No, I will not release names, because this is all the the past now.) I was surprised with the drama that comes in the indie publishing world and disappointed when I found out I wasn't the only one dealing with drama like this. But no one will take my writing away from me, I've worked too hard and come too far for a bit of drama to pull me down.

That's the thing, I've hit bumps in the road, but I know that I can't and won't let anyone take this from me. You see, these are my babies that I'm putting out in the world, people may or may not like them, that's fine. I don't seen the need of drama or to cause drama, so I move on. The reviews for In the Light of the Moon started to come in, some are good, some are bad, but I love to see them. Different people like different things, and this time around even the plain ratings (the ones without reviews) didn't bother me as much. Sure I'd like to know why they gave it that rating, but hey, to each their own.

I also started writing under a pen name, after discussing with some fans about turning up the heat, and as part of an experiment with Mia Bishop. As Alexandra Webb, I write Alice in Wonderland on the Fairy Tale Blog and was chosen with Mia Bishop and Phoebe Chase to do a series with Ellora's Cave. That makes for my first book contract, holy cow, I have a book contract. You can read more about that here.

Randomly I happened across a link for the Indie Romance Convention, I begged and

[caption id="attachment_194" align="alignright" width="225"]The DWC Bracelet! The DWC Bracelet![/caption]

pleaded with my husband to let me go. So we scraped and saved the money to make it possible. I'm so excited to go and meet other authors and readers who may or may not have heard of me. Exposure is good, right? Then something awesome happened, I volunteered to help with the registration table, as well as another woman. Found out that she would also be in Thursday night and we briefly talked about grabbing dinner together. Then she read my books, and in-boxed me, gushing about the characters and the story and holy cow it was awesome. I was so proud to have written something to make someone gush to that point. It's been the highlight of my year, really!

[caption id="attachment_197" align="alignleft" width="225"]DWC post card DWC post card[/caption]

So now to the preparing part, this is my first convention that I'll be an attending author at! Super nervous, super excited, and I never dreamt I would be here in just a year. So I've got my swag, most of which is DWC based. I'm ready to go, hotel reservations are there, plane tickets are bought and I kind of know what is going on. I get to put together a basket for charity and people are going to play a fun game to win a basket. (I ended up going with Bag, because well...bags are easier to pack than a basket.) I have rubber bracelets, bookmarks, postcards and mini business card. And of course I have books! In the Light of the Moon and Midnight Symphony will be there with me. I can't wait to meet fans, new readers, and authors.

Many of you know I'm not huge on socializing, but I have to step out of the comfort zone

[caption id="attachment_193" align="alignleft" width="225"]Bookmark Bookmark[/caption]

and do this. It's going to be awesome (with the exception of the flight I'm sure! Hahah) and it'll be a great experience. My preparations include: Getting a head in my writing, so if I slack while I'm out there, it doesn't hurt me, make sure my husband is ready to take care of our almost 2-year-old child on his own for fourish days, and well general insaneness.

So as I hit my one year mark of being a published author, I can only hope each year is more awesome than the next. I already have exciting things planed for next year and hope to see both the sequel to Midnight Symphony and the next DWC book out towards the beginning or middle of the year.  So keep your eye out, there are bound to be excerpts popping up. (In fact I know there's one for Midnight Shadows coming in October. Come take a look at what happens when Alaster loses his temper.)

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