Interview At Creative Difference!

The incomparable Sandra Hessels, all the way on the other side of the world in the Netherlands, where her website is kind of in Dutch, has interviewed me on her blog! Don’t worry, the interview is English. Here’s a snippet:

How do you find your readers (as a self-pubbed writer) and reach the largest possible audience? Right now the three biggest mysteries of the world are: 1. What is the meaning of life? 2. Is there life outside of Earth? 3. Where are the readers? Haha. It feels like we, as authors, are all still kind of marketing to ourselves. We ‘like’ each other on Facebook, we follow each other on Twitter, we read each other’s blogs, et cetera. So, I have no idea. I hold out hope that other authors are like me and read a book a week? But I don’t pretend to know where the readers are. My research has suggested that the most effective marketing tools are Pixel of Ink, BookBub, and eReader News Today. Basically, they are services that have already found the readers, but they hog them for themselves, and authors have to (sometimes) pay them to tell the readers about their books. Figures. Do you have to do a lot of self-marketing or do you have help? I don’t really have help. A couple of internet pals pitch in here and there and share stuff for me when they can, which I appreciate with the warmth of a thousand kittens, but I don’t have a street team or an assistant or anything. I post to my blog and my Facebook author page most regularly, but I also post to Google+ and LinkedIn, and of course, Twitter. I’m a member of various reader sites, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, and so on. And I’m always scouring the internet for websites that showcase authors and their books. According to your Twitter bio, you love killing off characters. Is it that easy? It’s very easy. George RR Martin and I should go for drinks (Game of Throne fans, the books or the TV series, know what I’m talking about). He and I would toast our frosty mugs and laugh over making our readers become attached to certain characters, even root for them, and then we break their hearts, thus giving our readers PTSD. It would be a grand old time.

If you would like to read more of my interview with Sandra, which I would totally recommend, then please click this link to her blog over at Creative Difference. You know you want to learn a little more about me, because, well, I’m fascinating.

Also, don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win a signed copy of Blood in the Past over at Tonya Kerrigan’s blog, so you should also head over there, follow her blog, and leave a comment telling her that she’s awesome, you’re awesome, and I’m awesome, and together we’d all make an awesome-ass club sandwich of some sort. (Okay, maybe that’s creepy, but I don’t know she’s picking the winner and maybe creepy will give you an edge.)

AND, speaking of paperbacks, Blood in the Past is now available in paperback! For real this time! On Amazon! Linked with the ebook! So you can see all 32 reviews! Yay!

Jerks & Irks XLVIII: What is WITH People?

What can I say about social networking? It’s love-hate for me. Social networking is supposed to be about meeting, connecting with, and making friends with like-minded people without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. That sounds pretty love-inspiring to me.

But over the last few days, several people conspired to spoil the love. Separately, of course. Serendipitously? I never know with that word. Anyway, one instance, I shrugged off. The second, I complained about to my hubby and my girlfriend. But the third and fourth? Jerks and Irks Status.

  1. Last week, I received the following direct message on Twitter: “Can I pick your brain sometime? Met you last year at ASJA and your book is doing better than mine! Would love some tips.” Umm, How about, “Hello, how are you? Congrats on Blood in Past’s recent high rankings!” (I was in the middle of my sale weekend and Blood in the Past was only two spots behind one of the Dexter novels!) But no, she just jumped right into me helping her out because when I met her at the ASJA (American Society of Journalists & Authors) conference, I was just a blogger and she was a little farther along in her journey and now I seemed to be doing a little better and it was boggling her mind so much she abandoned sheer etiquette and all use of pleasantries. Lovely. By the way. I responded with my email address, because I’m A NICE PERSON, and was met with nothing. Super lovely.
  2. Then, one of the authors I follow on Facebook put out a call for beta readers. He said it was a thriller, so I jumped at the chance to help, commenting that I would be happy to be a beta and that I welcomed the chance to meet and work with another thriller writer. Well, said author sends me a direct message on Facebook that although very thorough, was extremely cold and uninviting. It started with “Hi Ava” then went right into “Where are you in your writing career? Do you know what a beta reader is? Have you ever been a beta reader before? What is your blood type?” I can appreciate trying to weed out people just looking for a free book before its release or whatever, but maybe, I don’t know, say that! Have some energy, some personality. Connect, for heaven’s sake! His direct message was so cold that, coupled with his ridiculous time constraints, I politely declined my original offer to help out. And–what a shock–he didn’t reply back a simple “Thanks, anyway” or anything like that.
  3. Next, I got the following direct message on my Facebook author page: “I’m told you know how an author can gift books through Amazon for free. Can you tell me how?” Again, ZERO salutations, no mention of who sent them, what the hell? I’m pretty sure this person isn’t even a fan of my author page. But I’m a glutton for punishment, so I answered their question and I will most likely die of old age while waiting for them to miraculously ‘grow’ manners and say “Thank you.”
  4. The fourth instance occurred somewhere in the midst of the above events. I received an auto DM on Twitter asking if I was an author and if I would be interested in doing a guest post for the person I’d just followed. I usually hate auto DMs, and rid my inbox of them quicker than most people rid their bodies of crabs. But this time I responded. My Twitter pal and I agreed upon a date for my guest post to appear, right in the middle of my sale weekend, and I worked writing it into my busy schedule. Only, when I emailed it to her, I didn’t get a response. I contacted her on Twitter and she then emailed me saying she had received my material and would be in touch. Then the date for my guest post to go live came and went and I checked her websites and didn’t see my post. I emailed her. I tweeted her. I DMed her. Nothing. So then I scheduled the post for my own blog and according to the hits and comments and Twitter shares, it was her damn loss. And for the record, I think her first name is stupid

Have any of you had any run-ins with social networking jerks recently? Feel free to rant about it in the comments section! I always love hearing from people because I know how to do social networking the right way and I always respond in a friendly and timely manner. 😉

Jerks & Irks XLIV: WLC, WTF?

jam

The World Literary Cafe used to be my jam. I learned about it through Facebook/Twitter and spent hours on there a week, poking around. I stalked the forums and learned about new authors and releases. Then I found my favorite feature: A list of all the members’ Facebook Fan Pages, with the goal being for everyone to go down the list and Like everyone, receiving Likes on their own page in the process. Everyone gets mucho Likes. Everything is mucho bueno (I don’t speak Spanish, can you tell?)

And so it went and it was awesome for a good, long while. I even blogged about it. Then something changed. That plague of a practice that began on Twitter infiltrated the WLC Facebook Likes arrangement. You know what plague of a practice I’m referring to. The one where someone follows you on Twitter, you follow them back, then they promptly un-follow you. Sneakily and quietly. And you’re left following their selfish-ass for the rest of eternity, retweeting their witty remarks and news of success, none the wiser.

And this is what WLC is slowly becoming. I lingered right under 500 Likes FOREVER. Every time I would reach 500 or 501 I would get so happy. Blowing noisemakers, tossing confetti, buying celebratory cupcakes and dabbing icing on my cats’ noses. Then BAM! The very next day, I see my page sitting $hitty (the opposite of “sitting pretty”) at 499 Likes again. WTF, WLC???

I put celebratory cupcake icing on my cats’ noses, people! They hate that! I can only get away with doing it but so many more times before they eat me in my sleep! And there’s freaking confetti in my curly hair that simply WILL NOT come out! All because you couldn’t stay a while, get to know me, see how frickin’ funny I am, possibly buy my book… Wait, who threw that last part in there?

Anyway, World Literary Cafe is still my jam. I still poke around. I still naively like the Facebook Fan Pages of the other members. But I gosh darn REFUSE to buy any more celebratory cupcakes and I’m keeping the confetti aside for a more verifiable milestone.

Are you a World Literary Cafe member? Have you witnessed this atrocious practice? Have you bought my book, yet? Dammit, seriously who keeps throwing that in there?

 

Jerks & Irks XL: Thoughts & Prayers

I think it’s fitting that I ended up writing this post on America’s Memorial Day. A day where most people worry more about the weather’s effect on their weekend shore plans and BBQs than they do about the men and women who dedicate their lives for the freedom that affords us such “first world problems.”

That mini-rant aside, my issue today is with the social media phenomenon of “Thoughts and Prayers” whenever something tragic happens. Most recently the Oklahoma area devastated by tornadoes and, before that, the Boston Bombings. When events like these occur, whether man-made or nature-made, my Facebook & Twitter feeds become flooded with statuses and memes depicting people’s “Thoughts & Prayers.” Flags waving, dramatic shadows, lit candles. All these little pictures. For what?

And every single time, I’m irked. Because the people effected by these tragedies don’t need your thoughts and prayers (Not to mention they’re probably too busy picking up the pieces of their lives to login to Facebook and Twitter and catch a glimpse of your supposed “support”). No. These people need your blood donations. They need your unused clothing and appliances. They need your non-perishable food. They need your money. They need to rebuild and recover. And I’m sorry, but your thoughts and prayers really don’t help with that. You can post as many memes as you want, they don’t make you a better person than your friend, who didn’t post a damn thing. As far as I’m concerned, “Thoughts & Prayers” statuses aren’t any better than someone’s check-in at the local gym. Besides, for all you know, the people who haven’t publicly acknowledged the event might have donated anonymously and chosen not to broadcast it. (Likewise, the meme-posters may have donated something too, but we all know that’s not always the case either.)

So if you want to elevate your status as a gosh darn human being, here’s how. Visit this USA Today post, which lists several charities that are assisting with the rebuilding and recovery. There are several listed in one place, so you don’t even have to search around. Many of these organizations even offer a “Text to Donate” option. You can help while standing in line at Starbucks for heaven’s sake!

Also, in the spirit of Memorial Day, you can visit www.purpleheartpickup.org and schedule a morning for their volunteers to COME TO YOUR HOUSE and pick-up your gently used clothes and household items FROM THE CURB. So your lazy ass can sleep in AND help out!

So what are you waiting for? Be a gosh darn human being!

Jerks & Irks XIV: Didn’t Finish The Book? DON’T Write A Review!

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I often gripe about negative reviews, from people who didn’t finish the book. There I’ll be, skimming through books on my Kindle Fire -because apparently having over 500 books on there already is not enough- and almost every title that sparks my interest has at least a few 1-star reviews. So I filter by those and read them, just out of curiousity. Also, people who write positive reviews may not know enough about writing to complain about typos, structure, characterization, etc, so  reading the 1-star reviews is sometimes helpful. Sometimes. Other times I read something like this:

I usually finish what I start. It was just something ingrained in me by my parents. Having said this, I have to say this is the first Kindle book I didn’t finish. It started well then there was a subplot that the author felt the need to include and it just didn’t make sense with the main plot and who the hell was Sandy anyway? It was just a disgrace. Don’t waste your time.

Um, hey nimrod, do you know why the plot elements didn’t make sense and you didn’t know who Sandy was? BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T FINISH THE BOOK, JERK!

So, for those who don’t see the shame in writing a review for a book you haven’t finished reading, please refer to the following list:

  1. Shoes. You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes, NOT wear them, then return them because they made your feet hurt.
  2. Air Conditioners. You wouldn’t buy an air conditioner, NOT crank it to the maximum setting on a hot day, then return it because it didn’t properly cool your living space.
  3. Diet Pills. You wouldn’t buy a bottle of diet pills, NOT take them for the requisite 30 days, then ask about their money-back-guarantee. This can also be applied to the 87% of infomercial products that claim you’ll see results in a specified period of time.
  4. Restaurants. You wouldn’t order a steak, NOT finish it, then pull out your cell phone and use your Yelp app to complain that you’re still hungry.
  5. Hospitals. You wouldn’t go to the Emergency Room, NOT wait for your diagnosis/treatment, then sue the hospital for malpractice.
  6. Sports. Would you go to a ball game, NOT stay past the first quarter/period/inning, then say it was a terrible game?
  7. Salon. Would you go to get your nails done, NOT wait for the final coat of polish to be applied, then complain about chipped nails?
  8. TV. Would you complain there’s nothing to watch when you have NOT browsed through all the channels?
  9. Frozen Pizzas. Would you put a frozen pizza in the oven, NOT bake it for 22 minutes, then get upset when it’s cold in the middle?
  10. Movies. Would you walk out of a theater in the middle of the movie? You would? So would I, but I would NOT write a review about how horrible the movie was!!! And that’s my point. Can you think of any other examples? 🙂

 

 

Hot Shot Guest Spot! Author: Monica La Porta

You know all the articles and blog posts out there dedicated to How Not To Annoy Everyone On Twitter? Author Monica La Porta is the antithesis of those annoying Tweet Creeps. I bought her first book because a singular tweet (not one that repeated every twelve seconds) piqued my interest. Soon after we became cyber pals of sorts. Right? That would be the modern day version of pen pals? Anyway, Monica is a lovely woman and I thoroughly enjoyed the unique world she created in her books (she had two by the time I got to the first one on my TBR list). And since I adore her so much I wanted to share her and her awesome-sauce books with the blogosphere. So without further ado, meet Monica!

1. Welcome Monica! Can you please describe your novels, The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women?

The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women are respectively the first and second installments in The Ginecean Chronicles and are set in an alternate Earth called Ginecea.

The Priest’s blurb:

Mauricio is a slave. Like any man born on Ginecea, he is but a number for the pure breed women who rule over him with cruel hands. Imprisoned inside the Temple since birth, Mauricio has never been outside and has never felt the warmth of sunrays on his skin. He lives a life devoid of hopes and desires. Then, one day, he hears Rosie, President Layan’s daughter, sing. He risks everything to take a look at her and his life is changed, forever. An impossible friendship blossoms into affection deemed sinful and perverted in a society where the only rightful union is between women. Love is born where only hate had its roots and leads Mauricio to uncover a truth that could destroy Ginecea.

Pax in the Land of Women’s blurb:

Love doesn’t obey preordained rules. Sometimes, social status and gender mean nothing. The purest of affections can be born between two people living in different worlds. In a society where women rule over an enslaved race of men and love between a woman and man is considered a perversion, Pax’s and Prince’s union is destined for a tragic end. Coming from an existence of privilege, Pax has never endured harshness. She has never had any reason to doubt the rules Ginecea was built on. Everything changes when she is sent to spend her summer on a desolate farm and is exposed to the ongoing brutalities against defenseless men. A wrong turn leads her to witness Prince’s thrashing at the hands of the guards. One look from him and Pax’s perfect life is shattered, the memory of his dark eyes haunting her night and day. As a pure breed, born to one of the most prestigious family in Ginecea, she would have never thought it possible to fall in love with a man. Marked as a sinner, Pax abjures her ancestry to save Prince’s life. She hopes they can disappear into the desert, but social prejudice and political schemes give them no respite. The Priestess, the ruler of all Ginecea, has other plans for Pax Layan and her family.

2. How did you come up with the idea for a homosexual, matriarchal society where men are slaves and heterosexual relationships are blasphemous?

I have always loved what-if kinds of stories, where you take a look at an established aspect of reality and twist it. Sometimes, it resembles looking through a mirror and it’s easier to see the reality you live in. There are aspects of our society I truly dislike. For all the accomplishments human kind has been capable of, we still live harboring in our hearts prejudice and hate for anybody who is different. A few years ago, I read an article explaining how women could procreate without any contribution from men. Around the same time, I heard of an organization called It Gets Better that aims to give bullied kids an outlet to share their experiences and helps them find their rightful place among their peers. The idea of an alternate Earth where society had evolved in a different way from ours slowly formed in my mind, and starting from the concept of a coming-out story I built the Ginecean world.

3. Fascinating! When can we expect the next installment?

I finished writing Prince of War several months ago and it’s currently being edited. If everything goes as planned, it should be published before the end of the year. It would be nice to have a 12-12-12 release.

4. (You heard the woman! Mark that date on your calendars, people!) So, what do you have planned for after you finish The Ginecean Chronicles? Any other projects currently in the works or ideas brewing for a later date?

I’m working on two different projects. One is set in the universe of Ginecea. The Chronicles of Ginecea started as a trilogy, but lots of people told me they wanted to know more about certain aspects of its complex society. A fourth title is slowly coming to life and it will follow the story of a fathered woman, the last Ginecean cast I had yet to study in depth. The second project is a fantasy set in a world where people live in complete darkness without knowing there’s life outside their claustrophobic haven. What happens when two people coming from darkness and light meet? The inspiration behind this fantasy tale comes from the urban legend about people living in Seattle being afraid of the sun. It is not true. At all. We just don’t know what to do with it.

5. That sounds intriguing as well. You sure have a knack for creating alternate societies! Now, of course, I have to ask the requisite question: when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing and used to fill pages with longhand pieces about anything I fancied, but only three years ago I woke one morning and decided to do something with this dream of mine. After I wrote the first five novels, I realized writing was something I could do for a living. Three years later and almost 800k words typed on my keyboard, I’m still of the same opinion. Let’s hope someone else shares my certainty as well. Otherwise, it’s going to be a lonely ride.

6. 800,000 words? Wow! Tell us about your writing process? Outlines? Seat of your pants? Have to squeak a rubber duckie twelve times before you write?

My writing process resembles my painting/sculpting/cooking process. I start from the mere glimpse of an idea and see it blossom while adding and removing details until it makes sense to me. Every time I make a decision in terms of actions a character take, the story comes at a crossroad. If the character goes right, all the possibilities on the left disappear, and so on and so forth until only one story remains.

7. What a beautiful way to describe writing. So, changing gears a bit here, why did you decide to self-publish?

I could go with a long list of reasons, but the first and foremost is that my Ginecean Chronicles would’ve never seen the light of day uncensored. And, since I already pay for my editors, proofreaders, and cover artists, and I’d have to work on the marketing of my work anyway, right now self-publishing seems the way to go for me.

8. I wholeheartedly agree with you there. You mentioned above that you live in Seattle. You’re originally from Italy. What brought you to the states?

My DH’s (darling husband) job. We moved to Washington State twelve years ago, and I’ve come to love this place. At the beginning it wasn’t easy; I could read English, but my talking skills were laughable. I remember being frustrated by the mere act of grocery shopping. Once, I had to repeat the word ‘mayonnaise’ several times before somebody finally showed me the aisle where I could find it. Daunting experience. My accent is still thick, but I must repeat things only once or twice now. Also, I memorized where the items with the most difficult names are at the nearby QFC. Why risk it?

9. Haha, I can’t directly relate, but my grandmother was an Italian immigrant. If it’s any consolation, your novels and your responses here are well written, better than a lot of Americans. Back to Seattle, you mention in several online profiles that you actually enjoy the rainy weather that Washington State is prone to. Why is that?

I like the rain. When I was a kid, I used to go out and walk every time it sprinkled.  I remember the feeling of pure joy at the first sign it was going to rain. The air smelled differently and the sky changed color a few minutes before the first refreshing drop. I had a small, colored umbrella with a wooden handle and I kept it by the door, ready to use. Normally, my mother would find me before I could manage to catch a cold. Italian mothers are huge experts in all the ways a kid can catch a cold. You’d be surprised by the length of the list. The flavor of the forbidden walk has stayed with me long past my youth.

10. Not sure if our lists were the same, but my Italian grandma had quite a few rules about catching a cold as well. Speaking of rules, what do you think the most important part of the writing process is, besides copious amounts of writing?

Re-writing and editing. I can’t stress enough the necessity of going through the two processes in a religious fashion. If you don’t have the money to hire a professional editor, please find an alternate way of having someone who is not a relative to take a look at your work. Beta readers are quite useful. Critique circles can be your greatest allies. Finally, once your book is published and someone feels the urge to write a review about it, be grateful.

*Amen to that! Now a Bonus Question: Anything you’d like to add before I shoo you away to go finish working on the rest of The Ginecean Chronicles?

A plea to your readers: Follow Jordanna’s example! Support indies! So we can hire editors and cover artists and work on fourth books in a trilogy. Don’t judge me on my math, I’m an author.

(Cue Jordanna laughing at “fourth book in a trilogy”)

Thanks, Jordanna, for having me. It’s been a pleasure answering your questions.

Monica, the pleasure was all mine.

If you’d like to know more about me, here’s the link to my blog where sometimes I also talk about my writing. Be warned, you might find pictures of a beagle called Nero.  http://monicalaporta.com/

This is the link to The Ginecean Chronicles Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/#%21/ginecea

And these are the links to my books’ Amazon pages, in case you’d like to take a look at the fantastic covers Alessandro Fiorini created for me and read an excerpt from The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women. They were recently awarded the prestigious 4Js!

http://bit.ly/monica_thepriest

http://bit.ly/monica_pax

Haha, since only like eight people know I have a review page on here (Books I’ve Read in Bed), I don’t know how prestigious my J’s are, but thank you, haha. You deserved it!

Now everyone wave Arrivederci to Monica La Porta, check out her links, and buy her books. And remember, being engaging on Twitter leads to book sales and blog interviews. 🙂

Jerks & Irks IX: Tweet Creeps

How many of you are on Twitter?

*Surveys crowd raising their collective hands.*

Ok, how many of you are constantly annoyed by other people’s tweets?

*Notices no hands have gone down.*

This little guys keeps annoying stuff in his diary, as should you.

 

Now, I’m excited to be going on a couple of weeks straight without a suspension, but sometimes I wonder why in the fiery red heck I was so depressed to be without Twitter when these are the things that annoy me on an hourly basis (Yes, I check Twitter that often):

1. Spam-a-lot Spambots: Go away, all of you! I don’t want to work from home and earn $8.2 zillion dollars a minute, I don’t want to buy your special tupperware, and I don’t want to be a beta reader for your imaginary “publising” company. That’s right, I got a spammerific offer to be a beta reader for Ristrict Publishing. If you google them, they don’t even have a website. They have a Twitter account (where they talk about their budding “publising” company in their profile), a Facebook page, and a youtube book trailer for something called Thuggin In Miami or something. Alrighty then…

2. Inspirational Quotes…on Repeat: I hate when I see a good quote, such as “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney), and then I see it again, and again, and again…by the same PERSON! It comes across as a fake attempt to seem “real.”

3. Teaser Tweets for books: Normally I love these and I have even purchased a few books based on an intriguing sentence the author has posted on Twitter. But I hate the ones that post mundane sentences like “Betty had a hankering for pancakes but knew she was out of Nutella.” That is not a compelling sentence, people. Not in ANY genre. Sorry.

4. High & Mighty Hashtags: I #hate #tweets that #looklike this for #no #reason and it #makesmewantto #start a #hashtag #topic called #Ihopeyourshoebecomesuntiedandyoufalldownthestairs.

5. Killing me with Klout: Why, oh why, do some people log onto Klout and give a measley little Klout point to 839 of their closest friends and associates? It clogs up the twitter feed like chicken guts poured down the drain of a kitchen sink. Stop it! (Unless you want to give ME Klout. My score is only like a 23 or something.)

“Stop annoying each other or we’ll banish you to MySpace!”

So there you have it. My love/hate relationship with Twitter. I can’t live with it, but when they suspend me, I whine a lot. (Feel free to follow me though, I don’t do any of those things I listed above.)

What do you hate about Twitter?

What do you mean the typos aren’t your fault?

I’m currently reading the last book in a series recommended to me by a friend who shares some of the same reading interests as me. I say “some” of the same reading interests because some of what he reads either would make me laugh when it was meant to make me cry or it would bore me to eleven pieces. Sorry Donald, to each their own dear. Anyway, I wasn’t going to disclose the author at first, but I’m not saying anything overtly negative (in fact, I’m enjoying the series very much), so here goes. I’m reading the Pine Deep Series (Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man’s Song, & Bad Moon Rising) by the quite well known Jonathan Maberry. I’ll post full reviews on my Books I’ve Read In Bed page as soon as I finish reading the last book, but for right now I want to talk about something else that’s troubling me: TYPOS.

I read a lot of Indie books and sadly they contain more than their fair share of typos because a lot of new authors are A. Super eager to get their work out there and B. Super broke and can’t afford an editor. But Mr Maberry is not an Indie Author. His books have won awards and stuff. He has a publisher. A pretty big one (Pinnacle Books via Kensington Publishing). Yet, throughout the series I found misspelled and missing words. What gives, Maberry?

Get this: it’s not his fault. To my surprise, when I was facebooking with my friend who recommended the series (because facebooking is the new phone call/email/text message), he mentioned that he read the books in paperback and didn’t recall any typos. Why should I take his word for it, you ask? Umm, only because he’s currently penning a non-fiction book on how to write better, that’s why. I would imagine that a person setting out to help writers write better would remember phantom words and grievous  misspellings. So am I to believe that during the process of digitizing a novel, typos just appear out of thin, digital air? Has anyone else heard of or encountered this? I’ll tell you one thing, if — I’m sorry, WHEN–I self-publish my novel, if I get one fricking review that cries foul over typos that aren’t in my manuscript or in the print version of the book, heads will roll ladies and gents. Heads. Will. Roll.

 

 

**I wish I could say heads will roll if you guys don’t follow me on Twitter & Facebook, but I don’t have that kind of reach. But feel free to follow me anyway.**

Jerks & Irks VI: Awards (Yay!) & Twitter (Boo!)

For those of you keeping track, the JERKS at Twitter have suspended me for an IRKSOME third time! I won’t bore anyone to a twitching wretch of their former selves with another firsthand account of my extreme displeasure, so just click here and change the date of the post in your mind. Also, if you feel like helping out the cause, email help@twitter.com and inform them that they’re morons for continuously suspending my @JordannaEast account. Personally, I think they’re just jealous of my networking prowess.

To ensure that the evil-doers over at Twitter don’t win, I will try to focus on the positive: Two extreme NON-Jerks have nominated me for blog awards.

The lovely Whitney Rains over at A Serendipitous Happenstance nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. She is working on her first novel as well and I enjoy knowing I’m not alone in my endeavor. Bloggers like her make me feel like I belong to a First Novel Writer’s of the World Support Group. For my duty, not only must I give her a shout out for the nomination, but I also have to share 7 facts about myself and nominate 15 others.

Fact 1. I own ten pairs of Pumas. Not ten pairs of large cats, but the sneakers. I used to sort of collect them. Then I started to enjoy having money to feed myself. Now I wish I just had a plain pair of white ones to go with everything.

Fact 2. My favorite color is red. My phone is red. My camera is red. My Kindle cover is red. My Xbox controller is red. You get the picture. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, my blog is pretty red too.

Fact 3. I’ve been married for seven months and have yet to have my license changed because I hate the DMV. In fact, DMV should stand for Devil of Motherf*&%ing Vehicles.

Fact 4. Rain water touching my face REALLY freaks me out. If it’s raining and I’m walking somewhere on a crowded street without an umbrella…oh my god I can’t even finish that thought.

Fact 5. Snow touching my face doesn’t bother me at all. I find it quite refreshing.

Fact 6. Both my cats are named after foods (Muffin & Peanut). Those weren’t their original names, but they have evolved over time.

Fact 7. I actually enjoy sharing odd facts about myself.

Here are my nominees for The Versatile Blogger Award: A Portia Adams Adventure, Sharon C. Cooper, Cult of Racewood, D.C. McMillen, Sharkbait Writes, In and Out of Place, and sniderwriter. Okay, so that’s only seven blogs, but I have two awards to nominate people for! Anyway, they are all exceptionally entertaining and I implore you to give them a gander.

Jai Farris nominated me for the Liebster Award. I’m thrilled because I was the first blog listed. I’m sure that didn’t actually mean anything and the order was, in fact, random, but I’m convincing myself that I’m his favorite. You should also know that his blog, The Writer’s Advice, is one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure I read each and every post in its entirety (which is rare because sometimes I just can’t muster that kind of attention span). Besides the shout out, my duty here is simply to nominate five other deserving up and comers whose blogs have less than 200 followers. (Thought you were getting more fun facts, didn’t you? Haha, you have to wait until someone else thinks I’m awesome and nominates me for another award. Nana nana naaah nah!) And the nominees are (in my Academy Awards presenter voice): SBibbs’s Photo Illustration, Switzy Thoughts, Presents of Mind, BeKindRewrite, and Axolotl Ceviche. I must confess I have absolutely no clue how to tell how many followers a blogger has, so I just picked 5 more blogs I love. Please don’t report me to the Blog Award Police.

I would like to thank Whitney and Jai again for the awards, and if you’ll excuse me, I have to go email Twitter again…

Social NOT-Working! Twitter is ticking me OFF!

In January, I decided to finish my novel this year. I did all sorts of research on self publishing and learned that it was good to “build your brand” while you’re writing to ensure that there will be a group of people out there that will actually give a carnation about your book. That spawned the birth of this blog, which I consider to be mildly successful (I said “mildly,” not “wildly” because I do not suffer from delusions of grandeur). I told myself that if the blog ever got to something like 1000 hits and 50 followers -in a reasonable amount of time, not 17 months- I would go ahead and dare to create a separate Facebook page and a Twitter account. A few weeks ago I hit those magical goal numbers and had to put up or shut up: my brand apparently needed building.

Unfortunately, the Facebook “Likes” have been slow going (feel free to help with that, click the damn button!), but Twitter was really picking up. I had 50 followers in like a week. And quality followers too, like fellow bloggers, aspiring and accomplished writers, and publishing houses. I did have to block a few of those pesky porn site people with the fake profile pictures they stole from a Vogue magazine, but still I was content. Then my account was suspended a few days after I set up my account for suspected spam activity. Umm, ok. However, I was able to quickly rectify the situation by logging in on the laptop and entering one of those squiggly security words you have to decipher in order to buy concert tickets and then the concert ends up being sold out because you thought it said Phayle when it actually said Phayie, because duh, everyone knows you spell the made-up word of Phayie with an I

Anyway, I digress. So, I was able to get into my account. No problem. Then I was locked out again today. This time, when I logged into my laptop, there was no squiggly word and I was advised to appeal my suspension. WTF?! I emailed Twitter Support and received a reply that I was charged with possible “agressive manual following” which again falls under their No Spamming policy. Umm, at last count I had 70 followers and was following about 65 people. Sooo…I’m basically following the people that follow me or vice versa. I mean, once I received an Email from Writer’s Digest that suggested I follow five of their staff members and another time one of the authors I follow suggested I follow 6 other aspiring authors, but I look at neither of those instances at “aggressive.” So:

Dear Twitter Support,

Have you seen the Kony 2012 video? THAT’S an “aggressive” situation that needs to be stopped. Not my moderately enthusiastic Twitter following.

KThanksBye