Further proof that Cleo is the Worst Cat Ever — I brought home a cheese danish this morning. I was eating it at my desk while messing with my messed-up computer. Cleo was lurking around on the desk generally causing trouble. I reached for the danish, and it was gone. I could only assume I’d finished it without realizing. What a fat-ass, I thought. Complete unconscious eating.
Later, I found half the danish under the desk with a tongue-shaped channel licked out of the cheese. Cleo was nearby, cleaning her whiskers. Danish-thieving little brat. She’s so lucky she’s cute.
Then there’s Kiki, or Keas, or Keas-a-mou, or Keas’ Pieces. Maybe she’s weird because she’s stressed about her lack of identity.
(She has issues with hemp necklace string. I’m not accusing her of anything. Just saying.)
Anyway, my daughters sometimes bitch at me about socks. “Sheri stole my socks!” “Rachel took my socks!” “No one took your socks.” “Then why are all my socks missing? Who else would have taken them?” Etc.
The other day, I heard this constant, muffled meowing, just one meow after another. From the sound, I was afraid a cat had gotten shut into a closet or something, so I started searching. When I reached Sheri’s room, I saw her cat, Kiki, sitting in the exact center of the floor (like those little girl ghost twins in The Shining), meowing around a sock she had stuffed in her mouth. She stopped the instant she saw me, and after a second, she opened her mouth and let the sock fall. Anyone who says a cat can’t look ashamed has never seen Keas get caught indulging her sock fetish. Sheri looked under her bed — Kiki’s hiding place — and found a whole pile of pilfered socks. Most were her sweaty work socks, but some were indeed her sister’s.
I will have lots of animal stories in this blog, partly because they’re frickin funny, and partly because I end up putting our pets in my books so often.
I’m trying to decide whether to self-publish actual printed books, or just e-publish. It would be nice to have a printed copy on my shelf, but does it actually help sell them? I’ll have to do some research. It’s not like I’m going to get that cardboard stand at the front of Borders. Which is now closed. I always want to just wail when I say those words. Barnes and Noble is just too far away. And I just liked our little Borders. Sniff. But not all kids have Kindles or Nooks. I sure wouldn’t put something that expensive in my son’s grubby little hands. Which is stupid, because he has an Ipod Touch and a great smart phone and a little mini computer, not to mention the Xbox, etc. But he won’t read on any of those devices. I wonder if kids will make a complete transition to paper-less reading?
Haha, I say the exact same thing every time my cats break something. My cats are not allowed on the kitchen counters and whenever they hear me walking towards the kitchen they jump down really fast (like I can’t hear them) and sit there with a guilty look on their face.
I’m more of a dog person, so these cats are complete mystery. I have no idea what they’re doing or why half the time! My old dog wasn’t allowed on my bed. Every morning I’d get in the shower, and as soon as I turned the water off, I’d hear “thump thump” — his feet hitting the floor as he jumped down off the bed. I adored that pup.
I’ve posted a review on the UK Kindle page for you. Hope it’s okay – I don’t normally put reviews up because I find it really hard to talk about a book without giving away the plot. What have you done to market Shifters so far? I’ve seen a couple of things you could try but I’m sure you’ve already done them. You’ve got my email address anyway from this post, so just drop me a line if you want to compare notes!
I actually took your advice about the Book Smuggler, so we’ll see about that. Other than that, I’ve been trolling through blog sites looking for blogs that review young adult, e-published non-romance books — not many! Any ideas you have would be welcome.
Your review was so sweet! I’ve been writing for years, and to have someone really like a book is so exciting after a lot of “no’s.” Thank you so much! Though I had a heck of a time finding it — it’s not up on the US Kindle version. I wonder how I can get it available there too?
Please, any ideas you have would be very welcome!
Btw, did you hurt your back?
Sorry for the delay in replying – had a bad couple of days with my back (you were right – it all started due to my misspent youth on the back of a rigid framed Harley 74 chopper!) and migraine.
Anyway, now that I’m back in the land of the living, I’ve copied my review over to Amazon USA and Goodreads for you. The couple of ideas I had were as follows (and I’m pretty sure you’ve already thought of them)
a) what about marketing this in the UK – we’re pretty liberal and don’t have the issues with character nudity that your agent thought would be a block in the USA.
b) Loads of book bloggers have a weekly feature where they list what they’re reading or about to read and ask their followers what is on their own list. Why not get a few friends to post Shifters in the comments of these blogs for you? I’m happy to do a few and it wouldn’t really be cheating because it’s too good to vanish into the ebook morass.
c) People love Kindles because they can read a sample before buying, but this relies on them finding your book and asking to download it. What about making another version of it (don’t groan, Alisa – I can hear you groaning about formatting from here!) that is just a couple of chapters long, marking it as a ‘teaser’ and making it free? This would get it onto ereaderiq’s daily freebie email, reach a wider audience and maybe get them to buy the full version and review it.
Hope some of these help!
That’s actually a good idea! The formatting would be no big deal — just chop off a bunch. Where would you think I should cut it? After Chapter 1?
I’m glad you’re back — well, are you kind of on your feet now? My back stinks too, but I’m at least vertical!
Glad to hear back from you!
I would cut it a little way into Chapter 3, right after the words “I know who you are” because that incentivises the reader by leaving them with questions (who left the note? What are they going to do about it?) that can’t be answered unless they buy the rest of the book.
Have you found any blogs that review self-pub YA? Let me know what you’ve got and I’ll try to find a few more for you.
There’s no chance of being back on my feet for more than about 10 yards for a while yet. I don’t like to do things by halves so I have a whole range of other problems that complicate my life. I’m really not as old as this next bit will make me seem…and I was fine till I hit 35. I had a disc out of my back some years ago but another one has slipped. I’ve been advised to put off having surgery for as long as I can bear it, which is okay but now I’ve started having muscle spasms as well and they’re really what’s sticking me to the bed. The main trouble with walking is that at present I need a couple of sticks, but I’ve got bursitis in my hips, arthritis in my hands and one knee along with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and random hand tremors, so it’s pretty hard to use my sticks for more than a few steps. I’ve also got labyrinthitis, so my balance isn’t great either. If all that doesn’t stop me, I have plantar fasciitis in one foot. I like to throw a migraine into the mix for at least a couple of days a week. I am diabetic but the good news is that I can’t overeat because I have TMJ (which means my jaw doesn’t work properly). I am constantly amazed that I am not under consideration for Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Team. Mind you, one of my cousins is on it – I should probably have picked her side of the gene pool!
Oh, Lord, girl, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! Doesn’t getting old suck? I’ve had fibromyalgia and some form of arthritis since I was a kid, and I used to whine about it, but not anymore. I feel very lucky after I read stories like yours. I hope things get better for you. At least you have a well-developed sense of humor!
That’s a great idea, about chapter 3. I wouldn’t have thought of that.
I got nothing on the blogs. I’ve been slacking on that. Got any ideas?
I have tried to write sex scenes, and I’m not a prude, but they all end up sounding like this: “He looked into her eyes, and their souls became as one.” I just can’t do it. I think you’re right — you think about what’s important in a YA, and if the sex scene doesn’t support that, you leave it out. Plus YA books are usually expected to be shorter, so you don’t have time to waste on scenes that don’t add to the book. Especially when you write for boys. Have you ever seen a boy in the school library chose a book? Sometimes they actually unfocus their eyes so the skinniest book spine is obvious, and that’s the book they choose! (I used to volunteer in the school library, and I swear it’s true.) I love YA.
If you get a second or two, I’d appreciate it if you could write a review on my Kindle page. You really seem to know your books, and your opinion would carry a lot more weight than the average reader.
Love your cats – they’re nearly as deranged as ours! It sounds like there’s a book or two in them just waiting for you to write it. I read Shifters last night and it was excellent – please don’t give up. I’m too old to be your target market but I guess that’s a good thing, given that I still found it an absorbing read ( I’ve been stuck flat on my back for the last year, so my Kindle has been my lifeline. The sheer amount I read each day means that I’ve had to widen the type of novel I buy, as the alternative is to go bankrupt in a week given traditional publishers’ ebook pricing here in the UK). It’s got a wider appeal than you’re giving yourself credit for! Have you tried sending it to The Book Smugglers website for review? I think they might be a good match for you.
Thank you so much for the comments! You should have heard me just now — I was yelling for my daughter, “Someone read my book!” You know, I’m too old for my target audience too, but I love young adult books. They tend to talk about stuff that really means something and have a depth I don’t always find in adult books. Plus, everything is new to kids. We might be like, “Oh my God, not another vampire book,” but maybe this is their first (okay, second, since you know Twilight is the first) exposure to vampire books, and so you have a freedom you wouldn’t have with adult books. You’re not trying to satisfy a more and more jaded viewpoint.
I will look into the Book Smugglers website — I am so new to this that I’m still feeling my way in the dark.
Thanks again, Lesley!
Hi Alisa! I know exactly what you mean about YA enthusiasm vs adult ennui. I think part of the problem is that in the last couple of years Urban Fantasy has been flooded by writers with no genuine interest in it. They write essentially the same potboiler plots but squeeze them into the hot genre of the moment and will drop UF the minute something more marketable comes along. It’s so irritating when the story comes second to wedging as many sex scenes into a book as possible (and then adding a few more). It’s not that I have any moral objection to sexual content, it’s just that I’m there for the plot and a lot of these books have precious little of it. YA authors have to be way more circumspect and the extra thought they put in makes for much better books. I’ll definitely buy your next one!