Saturday, June 25, 2016

Write-a-lution Manifesto

So, there's this great guy named Bruce Lazarus who heard me share at the Dramatists Guild National Convention on my self-publishing journey and he insists that what I'm doing as an indie author is pretty special.  I'm afraid I suffer from imposter syndrome, though, because the voices in my head shout things like, "Sure,things may be fine now, but it will all come CRASHING DOWN AROUND YOUR EARS ANY SECOND NOW.  ANY SECOND!"

But I took a look at the Author Earnings report the other day and it turns out (much to my surprise) you could fit all of the authors who are in my bracket in a large Broadway theater.  Say... Hamilton's theater... you know... if anyone is looking for ideas on where to hold a club meeting...

This truth finally made me acknowledge my head is full of idiots.  As such, I've decided to stop listening to them and start listening to the advocates and champions in my life who keep dragging me, kicking and screaming, into the light.

I am a successful author.  I consistently make six-figures.  I make more as a writer than I ever did in an office.  There were other authors ahead of me that shone the light and taught me how to do it and, you know, gosh darn it, it's time for me to return the favor.

This blog has been stagnant for awhile, but I'm going to start sharing more about how I do what I do so that YOU can do what you want to do.  The biggest joy I have as an author is watching other's grab a hold of their writing dreams.  I want you to do that.  I'm going to start taking time out of my writing day to share my journey so that YOU can start YOUR journey.  Take what works for you and leave the rest.  I am not the end-all-be-all, but I've done it and I hope my mistakes and victories can give you the courage to give your dreams a fair shake, too.  It is not an easy path.  The market is getting more and more complicated.  But it is possible.  As the old saying goes, "When you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life."  Welcome to the party.  Viva la Write-a-lution!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Maggie VII Coming at You Next Week!

Maggie VII will be coming at you next week!  One of the scenes is located in a kids' playground located in Orange County.  Here's a picture of the ACTUAL playground it is based upon.  And want more pictures?  Here you go!

Available for Pre-Order:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Queen Mab Audiobook

I am so pleased to announce that one of my favorite actors in the world is locked in a studio right this very moment and is being forced to record the upcoming Queen Mab audiobook... erm... wait...  I mean, he graciously agreed to lend his dulcet tones to bring my book Queen Mab to life.

I've been a huge fan of Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing, The Hour, Blandings, Banished) for years and if you're lucky enough to live in the UK, you get to hear his voice regularly on BBC Radio.  Lucky ducks.

A little history of this project: as many of you know I'm a hybrid author with titles both traditionally and indie published.  Back in 2013, a wonderful publisher made a five-figure offer on Queen Mab. I ended up turning it down.  Since then, my feelings on that decision have fluctuated between "best decision" and "worst mistake" of my life.

What it came down to and the reason I walked away, though, was the issue of creative input on the audiobook.  These things last forever.  These things will be what my great-great-grandnieces and nephews share with their children and say, "This is what your dead ancestor did with her life."  You don't think about these things when you sign your first contract.  But you start thinking about them rather seriously when you begin to understand, viscerally, what signing something over until 70-years-after-your-death means.

In 2013, I had no power.  In fact, that's sort of a running theme for authors in the publishing world - very rarely do we get to say, "I like this cover" or "I want this voice."  And let me make this clear, the publisher who made the offer is actually one of the better ones out there and even so, couldn't guarantee me a say on the narrator.

And so I politely declined and decided to sit on this project until the day came where I could get it done in such a way that I could be proud of it.

Enter ListenUp Audiobooks.  A little over a month ago, I received a notice from Kobo that they had teamed up with ListenUp Audiobooks to make self-publishing possible.  I had a phone call with their team and the conversation went like this:

Me:  I'd really like Julian Rhind-Tutt to narrate this book.
Them:  FYI - We do have some narrators in house that sound similar.

(NOTE: This is where the conversation usually breaks down with a publisher.  Usually they decide someone "similar" is good enough.  I have come to believe, though, that audiobooks are an art form. I believe they should be more than "not terrible" or "did the job" or "well, they were willing to do a royalty split on ACX."  They should make you feel something - like going to a play or listening to music.  I believe the voice is actually even more important than my words.  And so, I believe audiobook talent should be more than a line item and the role of the narrator should be awarded to actors and artists who are experts in their field rather than to a "similar, yet more cost effective" voice.)

Me:  No, I'd really like him.
Them:  Cool!
Me:  *stunned silence and shock, waiting for the other shoe to drop*
Them:  We got your back.

And they made it happen.  They made what several Big 5 publishers were not willing to make happen.  They arranged international contracts with his agents, studio rental across  The Pond, and today?  This actor I have admired so much is speaking my words into a microphone, words that will last 70-years after my death.  I could not be more honored to have his voice be the legacy of this project.  Look for it in July.

Godbless this digital age.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Building Madness comes to Canada!

Last July, I received the nicest email from a reader named Patty Burritt.  She wrote to say she really enjoyed my books and was wondering if she might be able to get a copy of my play Building Madness.  She was a director and performer at the Grande Prairie Live Theatre, one of Canada's largest community theatres, and she was interested in seeing if she could bring my script north of the border.  Well, lo and behold, here we are and not only is Building Madness coming to Grande Prairie, it will be making its Canadian debut!  All because of a really special person named Patty Burritt.  So thank you, Patty!  And if you live in the area, make sure to catch it this January!  I'll be there opening night to cheer on Patty's awesome cast and crew!


If you'd like a copy of the playscript, it is for sale on Amazon.  Want to check it out first before taking the leap? The first scene is available online.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Paranormal Romance Urban Fantasy Sale

Grab an armful of free and discounted urban fantasy books at the Paranormal Romance Urban Fantasy sale!  A bunch of my buddies and me put together a list of our free titles and now share it with you.

Seriously.  Just click.  Grab a ton of books.  It is that easy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Welcome to Under ___ Minute Theater

As my plays begin receiving national and international productions, I decided it might be nice to make some of my short works more available.  I got my start competing in forensics and festivals, so thought I should share the love.  If you are a student or educator, your purchase of an e-play for each cast member gives you the right to use any "Under __ Minute Theater" play in your classroom, in competitions, in auditions, well... in front of any non-paying audience.  Send me some pictures!  I'll brag about you!

If there is a paying audience, I'm afraid a royalty is involved.  I firmly believe that if you think your show is good enough to ask people to pay for, you should compensate the artists who gave you the show to sell, even if it is just a token.  So don't be scared off!  The royalties are low and adjusted for each theater's particular financial realities.

To sign up for new play releases, join the Play Newsletter

The Camera, the Gerbil, and the Big, Wide World
2w, 1m

Two lonely children meet in Texas and their lives are changed for the better.

This sweet, family friendly, fifteen-minute play is a nostalgic journey through friendship, and how a camera and a gerbil can make the world huge and wonderful.

Kings of the World
2m, 1 w/m

From politics to cars, Bud and Jeff know exactly how to fix the world... if only they could put down their drinks and get off their barstools. Could the magic of a new song on the jukebox be enough?

This 10-minute play features great physical comedy opportunities for older character actors.

WARNING:  Artistically motivated cussing

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Maggie Goes to Hollywood - Now Available

Well, folks... the day you have been long waiting for is sloooowly here.  Maggie Goes to Hollywood -  Book Six in the Maggie MacKay: Magical Tracker series is available on Kindle!  As this week continues, it will be rolling out on all the other vendors and paperback, etc., et. al.  But for the time being, grab it here!

A few readers have asked me about future plans for Maggie.  There are many, many more books on their way in this series, with another coming out *fingers crossed* this August.  As long as they are still fun for me to write and still fun for you to read, I'm game for just keeping this party going.  Cool?  The one decision I made last year, though, was to wrap up all of my other series so that I could get Maggie out to you faster in the future.  Instead of four different books in three different series like its been, my brain is just going to live in Maggie-land from here on out.  So thanks to all of you for your patience as I goofed around trying to figure out my voice and other artistic crap.  Let's just play now, shall we?