Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Paintings!

Book paintings?!

What the heck is a book painting you ask? 

Many moons ago in a land called Instagram there lived a painter, an author and a reader.  One day the reader tagged the author in a sketch of The Perfect Game and the author proceeded to ask intelligent questions like:


And thus, my Perfect Game painting was born.  :)

And so were these other two paintings I bought for my author friends, S.C. Stephens
And Samantha Towle

Aren't they freaking cool?
I think so too.  Obviously.
So anyway, Danielle (that's the painter from the land of Instagram) has set up shop on facebook where you can go and order your own painting!  From whatever book you loved- although if she hasn't read it yet, you'll have to help her out and make sure you tell her what elements you want on it.
They're pretty unique gifts and they are even more awesome in real life if you can believe that!  Not to mention that they are affordable as well! I just wanted to give her a little shout because I believe in her talent and I want nothing but great things for her. 
If you're looking for a cool, one of a kind painting, look no further than Pushy Girl Paintings.  :)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Adult Books

I have a question for all you readers out there (and authors too)... What does the term "new adult" mean to you?

I classify my books as New Adult when the main characters are either college aged, or in their early 20's. The story may not necessarily appeal to the true YA audience because the characters are doing things they can't relate to yet (interning, working full time, living with their bf's, etc). It's about a period of time in our lives when we're not necessarily sure where we're headed. We're still figuring things out. It's that in-between stage between high school and true adulthood. We've all been there.

Now my characters in In Dreams are in college, but I wrote that book in a younger voice, with no sex, very little swearing, etc. I classify it as YA because it reads as YA, even though the characters are no longer in high school. I felt like the situations the characters go through was appealing enough to a younger audience that they wouldn't feel like they couldn't relate.

I honestly think that if your main characters are in high school, then your book is Young Adult. At least that's what i've always just assumed as a reader. Young Adult = high school aged stories. No matter if they're having sex, swearing, doing drugs, etc- high school kids have sex, swear, do drugs, etc.

But i've seen some high school aged books being called New Adult. So i'm wondering, are we classifying that category based on subject matter of the book, the way the book is written, or the age of the characters?!

I honestly don't know.

I honestly am asking.

If we want the category to be taken seriously by publishing houses, readers and bookstores, then it needs to be consistent, does it not?

So I wonder- what does New Adult mean to you? When you're a reader and you grab a New Adult book, are you assuming the characters are at least college aged, if not older?

Talk to me people. :)

Monday, January 07, 2013


You guys!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

Can you hear me YELLING?!?!??!?!?  :)

The Perfect Game has sold over 100,000 copies!!!!!

One. Hundred. Thousand. Copies.

*please send some hot guy over with a fan and grapes cause i'm about to faint*

Just shy of being released for 3 months and we've reached this HUGE milestone!  I'm so flipping blown away.  I have never been here before!  I've never been anywhere close to this before so I'm at a loss for words.  (not really, it's just that The Game Changer is taking all my words at the moment). 

I wanted to celebrate because this truly is a freaking enormous event for a self published author. Hell, I think it's an enormous event for ANY author.  :) 

So I was sitting here this morning, trying to thing of a way that I could THANK all of my readers. I thought about doing another giveaway but quickly tossed that idea aside.  I'm sorry, but too many giveaways start to feel disingenuous and like i'm trying to buy your readership. Which I totally am, dur.  :) 

Then I realized that the perfect way to tell you all THANK YOU would be for me to post another teaser from the upcoming follow up book, The Game Changer! 



So here you go:
(and by the way, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my book. And for telling other people to read it. I know it probably seems like I say that a lot- or say the same things over and over again, but it's just that you don't understand. The only way I can do something as freaking unbelievable as this... is with YOU.  Because you read it and loved it and then told your friends to buy it-  i'm in this place.  This amazing, beautiful, mind blowing place.  So yeah, I may thank you a lot. I may say thank you for the word of mouth. For writing reviews on Amazon. For telling people on Goodreads to give the book a chance. For gifting copies of it to your friends. For posting about it on Facebook. For tweeting on Twitter.  For ALL OF IT.  Hell yes I tell you THANK YOU a lot. Because I mean it.  Because I am thankful. And because you guys are the best freaking readers in the whole entire world and I FLIPPING APPRECIATE YOU. Okay?  Okay. :) 

So here you go!

TEASER #2 from THE GAME CHANGER- Coming Someday in the Future lol

I closed my eyes, drinking in his vow. Part of me cringed, acknowledging the vulnerability that coursed within me. I needed to be stronger than this. But as much as I wanted to believe that Jack's mistake with Chrystle was a one time major screw up, I’d be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t fearful.
I was.
And I wasn’t sure how not to be.
“Do you believe me?” he asked, his expression filled with worry.
I fought back the tears that formed in my eyes, “I want to.” I longed to bottle my anxiety up and put it on a shelf where it only came out for special occasions, but I didn’t know how. Right now it lived on the outside of my skin, like an extra layer of warmth I couldn’t shed no matter how hot I became. My emotions had taken full control over every other part of me. I’d become victim to my own insecurities.
“I’ll show you,” his forehead pressed against mine as he continued. “I’ll never lose you again.”
“What if I want to be lost?” I teased with a serious tone and watched as he pulled his head from mine.
“I won’t let you.”
“You won’t let me?” I mocked, secretly loving the way he wanted me.
Jesus Cassie, you’re a fucking nutcase right now. Pick an emotion. Pretend like you’re in charge here.
“No. I won’t let you. End of discussion,” his mouth remained stoic.
“That wasn’t really what one would consider a discussion.”
“Because there’s nothing to discuss. I’m not leaving you ever again. And you’re not leaving me. No matter how pissed off I make you, or how frustrated. I fucking love you and I’m not going anywhere.”
I attempted to fight back the smile that formed. “And I love you. But really, if you ever cheat on me again I’ll cut your nuts off and hang them from the Empire State Building.” 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Why it takes so long to write a dang book!

I know that some of you don't understand WHY the heck it takes so long to write a book!  Some other authors seem to bust out a book a month- which is awesome for them... unfortunately, i'm not one of them.

I thought i'd tell you the two biggest things that take up my time because you've probably never even thought about it before. 

#1-  RESEARCH!  Even the stupidest, smallest detail needs researched if I don't know anything about it. For example-  Jack & Chrystle splitting up... what are the laws in Alabama for an annulment?  Can you get one? If you can, for what reasons? How do you file one? How long does it take to process? Seriously. I look up all that sort of stuff before I write about it so that the picture I paint is as accurate as possible. Sometimes I'll find that i've spent hours researching things for ONE paragraph (and sometimes ONE statement or sentence) in the whole story!  It's crazy town!  :)  Research is time consuming, but I don't know a single author that doesn't do it. Writing about a jail scene? They're researching what the person wears, what the rules are, who can visit and when, etc. Writing about a baseball player heading to the major leagues?  They're researching where the minor league teams are located, making a list and then going through the list to see which Major league team makes the most sense. I look up everything if I don't already know. EVERYTHING! I reach out to my friends in the business for a more realistic approach (had to reach out to a big LA publicist friend the other day for some questions). I researched Cassie's major and compiled a list of all the classes she could take and then I chose the ones she did. I have the college schedule printed out so I know when they break for Christmas, Spring Break, when school ends, starts, etc.  I have the Mets schedule printed for game dates, times, days off (ha), etc. 

#2- THESAURUS.COM  i.am.not.joking.  God I wish I was. But I seriously suck at vocabulary. I write the way I talk. 100% the way I think, talk, my friends talk, etc. So I tend to repeat the same things over and over and over again. I swear I spend half the day writing and the other half looking up words in the freaking thesaurus.  And even then my editor still has to make it all better.  lol

So there you have it. Those are the two biggest things that "take away" from my writing time and suck up my days. If you're a writer, what are yours? 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

You want to write a book PART 3

Cause it's so much fun to piss everyone off, I figured i'd just keep verbally vomiting so you don't have to.  lol

This one will be short.  But it's still the truth.  Well, MY turth anyway.

You need to have integrity as a writer. 
And you need to stay true to yourself and the stories you choose to tell.

I know you want to write a book that connects with people. And i'm sure by now you've read all the "popular" self-published books just trying to figure out what those books have that yours doesn't. But what you don't realize is that it's all a crap shoot. I'm not kidding. Timing, what's trending, who is buying and reading books, exposure, what else is out there, how over or under saturated the market is, what people want, what they're sick of reading, where the moon is aligned in your sun sign, etc.  Whatever sold two weeks ago might not sell two weeks from now. Readers are fickle. You shouldn't be when it comes to your writing.

The biggest thing for me personally is- I know that I could take the route of writing in a certain manner, or about certain topics for shock value simply to make a buck, but that would be completely disingenuous of me. I'm a smart person. I know what sells in the same way that marketing genuises learned that sex sells in advertising. I could do all sorts of things to ensure that people will talk about my books once they've read the last chapter. But I can't do things that don't feel real to me. That doesn't mean that my stories won't break your heart, or have painful topics in them... because they will. But what it does mean is that you can rest assured that the story came from my heart and not my wallet.

Listen, I want readers to love what I write, but I want to know that my story came from the right place. I don't write for the money. I write because of the way it makes me feel to put my story on paper. And for the way that people react to it. No matter how few or how many the number- the genuine feeling you get as an author is the same.

So my advice to future writers out there:

Just be you.

Write the stories that make you FEEL like you are being true to your calling.
You will find your groove. You will hit your stride. And you won't feel like you sold out to do it.

There's nothing more beautiful than being successful doing something you genuinely love to do.

Now go do it.  :)