To Leave or Not to Leave?


Every author faces this question at one event or another. Maybe there is no one at the event or the people at the event aren’t coming near the author tables. How long do you stick it out?

It depends. If you’re paid to be there, obviously you stay the entire time no matter what. If you are there on your own time and sales aren’t happening, you have to weigh it carefully.

If people are approaching your table and taking bookmarks, you’ve got visibility in your favor. And you might make a few online sales later on. I can rationalize staying as long as I’m talking about the book and handing out bookmarks. Even if the sales aren’t happening, they could lead to sales.

However, I’ve been at author fairs where the only people who approached my author table were other authors and the event organizers. No one’s fault, but this wasn’t going to be a profitable event for me. It wasn’t even going to help with visibility.

Authors can’t be buying from each other every time they are vendors at events. We can’t afford it. And there’s no point in pitching to an author at the table beside you because they are there for the same reason as you–to sell books.

For the first half hour, I stood at attention at my table, waiting for a reader to come by, any reader. They didn’t. The next hour, I ended up sitting quietly and rereading my book. Because there was no one to talk with about my book, which was the reason I was there.

At one point a couple authors were talking amongst themselves and they were shushed because there was also a concurrent author talk happening.

That was when I decided to leave. If I’m not allowed to talk, there’s no point in me being at an author fair. If speakers are going to go on for the entirety of the time I’m supposed to be selling and no one is actually going to leave the speakers to check out the author fair, there’s no point in me being here.

And I’ve got revisions waiting at home. I’ve got a book launch with a million to do items waiting at home. And I took off two hours from work to be at this event and missed out on pay I need. And if I stayed, I’d miss out on the opportunity to get more work done tonight.

So I packed up early and left. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I usually stick it out at every event. But the factors conspired to make it clear this wasn’t going to be a night where I made a sale or had any visibility. It was a night that needed to be salvaged.

What would you have done? What would make you leave an event early?




If you’d like to get your hands on an advance copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, I’m giving one away right now!

You can enter the Rafflecopter TGWIG ARC giveaway on my Facebook Author Page:

and the mobile link is here:



Posted in author appearance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

I Hate Endings


I hate endings. I know they are a part of the cycle of life. That every good story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. That people come and go in our lives. That friendships that should have lasted forever don’t. It’s just the natural progression of things.

Logically, I get it. But emotionally, goodbyes are always heart wrenching for me. Because they feel so final.

It makes me terrible at letting things go.

I delayed reading the last Harry Potter book for 2 years. Do you know how hard it was to avoid all those spoilers? Luckily, by then I had my own characters to keep me company. It was the only way I could say goodbye to Harry and Hermione.

Now, there’s True Blood. I loved the Charlaine Harris books. Practically inhaled them. But I still haven’t read the last two. Because that’s it. Then it’s over.

I just got around to watching the last season of True Blood on HBO. I spent six years hanging out with the folks in Bon Temps. I didn’t want to stop hearing about their lives. But it was time to say goodbye.

It felt incredibly well executed. Especially how things went down between Sookie and Bill. Like we were always headed that way from season 1. It was a very satisfying ending.

But it was still an ending, so I had to prepare for it to be over. It took me a while to be ready to say farewell to my favorite characters. And I still cried.

Now, I’m finally watching the final season of How I Met Your Mother. But I can only do it because I missed a lot of the previous season so I know there is more. That this ending isn’t a complete ending.

How do you feel about endings? Do you have trouble finishing the last book in a beloved series or watching a final season of your favorite tv show?



If you’d like to get your hands on an advance copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, I’m giving one away right now!

You can enter the Rafflecopter TGWIG ARC giveaway on my Facebook Author Page:

and the mobile link is here:

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 29 Comments

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts Cover Reveal & Giveaway


Here’s the cover of #TGWIG, my YA time-travel murder mystery!

In The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

Here are some of the other posts by my awesome blog friend to celebrate my cover reveal and upcoming release:

JM McDowell

The 4 a.m. Writer’s blog

My Random Muse

Emmie Mears

K.Lyn Wurth


The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is available for Pre-Order May 2nd on Amazon.

But I am giving away an advance reader copy in April.

You can enter the Rafflecopter TGWIG ARC giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

or on my Facebook Author Page:

Posted in Giveaways, new release, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments

Behind the Scenes: What I’m Doing When I’m Not Writing and Teaching


I met with the owner of the lovely Gifts in a Basket at 51 North Main Street in Southington, CT, and they are now carrying signed copies of my award-winning novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin!


I’m hard at work on promo goodies for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. I’ve got an amazing designer working on a temporary tattoo that ties into a family heirloom in the novel. Here’s a sneak peek at an early draft:


She’s also working on a limited edition piece of jewelry that will be a prize in a summer contest for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (TGWIG). We met last Friday to talk metals and stones.

I’ve hired a friend of mine to design the stickers too.

Because the book is YA, we’re focusing on more fun goodies that appeal to teens.

There will also be the standard bookmarks and pens. Because who doesn’t love a bookmark or a pen?


I’ve reached out to my web designer about rebranding the book page on my website this summer.


I’m working on getting a banner sign for TGWIG events made.


I gave feedback and approved the press kit that my amazing publicist is sending out soon! My publisher loved the Q&A so much, they decided to include it as bonus content in the paperback of my novel.


I’m brainstorming contest and giveaway ideas with my publicist.


In April, I’ll be attending the NESCBWI Conference in MA. So excited to be there!


I also signed up for ReaderCon 2015 in July. I’ll be attending and volunteering at this awesome event!

Posted in author appearance, Conferences, conventions, Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts Update


It’s time to share the official back cover summary for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts:

She tried to ignore them. But some things won’t be ignored.

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.


The cover reveal is coming up on April 6th! Several awesome blog buddies are also going to share the cover on their blogs. We’ll be kicking off a Rafflecopter ARC giveaway that day too!


If you’d like to add The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts to your Goodreads To-Read list, you can find it here:

Posted in Giveaways, new release, Promotion, publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

How to Break a Heart Reblog

I’m down with the flu. Fever, body aches, cough, unable to breathe awfulness. So I thought I’d repost an old post from 2010 that didn’t get much love.

Posted in Ramblings, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The Pleasure of Reading

It’s been a while since I got lost in the pages of a book. Giving myself over to the pleasure of the story and enjoying it.

My brain is hardwired to analyze story. To note the pacing, look for the hook, examine the bond with the main character, to study the story arc, and catalog the character development.

Even when I watch tv shows or movies, my mind is focused on the story structure. I can tell you exactly why a story works or it doesn’t.

But that all fell away as I read Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. The beauty of her writing sucked me in. I fell deeper and deeper into the story until I was completely immersed in it. Enjoying every moment with Liza.

And I realized this is why people read. For the pleasure of getting lost in something so much bigger than themselves. To care and to be carried away with the characters on a journey unlike any I’ve ever taken.

I missed this. Though a lifelong reader, I hadn’t taken off my writer hat in years. And it took this book to remind me that it’s important to be a reader. To stay 100% in the story and not think about why it’s working. To read solely for the pleasure of reading.

I am so thrilled that I got to meet Janni at the Tucson Festival of Books last year. She signed my copy, “For Kourtney, Listen to your magic!”

I don’t think she had any idea how important that message would be to me as I struggle through revisions of Six Train’s sequel. How personal it felt in that moment when I finished her book and the magic of it still hummed in my veins.

This is a book that I will treasure.

Because a good book makes you smile, but a great book energizes your soul.

And this is a great book!

Posted in Book Review, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

A Week Without My Laptop


Last week my laptop went down. A major hardware problem made it malfunction. I still had Apple Care protection so I called in and then sent my laptop off to the Apple Engineers.

It completely derailed my week. Because despite having backups to Time Machine and a flash drive full of pertinent files and an email with my top ten files, I no longer had a computer to work on them.

After I talked to Apple Support and got the worst case scenario–2 weeks without my laptop,  I cried like my boyfriend of five years just broke up with me. A violent emotional reaction over a computer. A tiny part of my mind knew I was overreacting, but the hysterical sobbing and frustration had to run its course.

This was such bad timing. I am on tight schedule with TGWIG and Six Train’s sequel. And I could potentially be without a computer for 2 weeks. Panic. Sheer panic. And loss. Such loss. I can’t lose two work weeks.

Next began a series of trouble shooting techniques. Most of which only led to more trouble.

I tried firing up the old Mac from 2007. It still worked, but the battery had swelled up and was unusable. So I was left solely with a/c power and a fickle cord that easily slipped out.

For email and social media, I relied on my iPad. It’s nowhere near as easy to navigate as my laptop, but it was a decent filler.

My entire work week ground to a halt. I was supposed to be creating the series bible for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. But I didn’t have Scrivener on my old laptop and it’s OS wasn’t compatible with Scrivener.

And then the worst thing happened. I couldn’t figure out which draft of Six Train’s sequel was the most recent one. I had a printed version that was 451 pages and an electronic one that was 378 pages. I felt like I was going to lose my mind.

I spent hours trying to figure it out. And I couldn’t. That was weeks of work potentially gone. My mind was at its breaking point.

I never realized that my Mac wasn’t just a computer. It was my ally. My business partner. And my daily companion at work. Without it, I was lost. Fumbling through the day. Barely productive.

Luckily, Apple was able to turn around the laptop in a flash. I called in on Monday, got the Fed Ex box on Wednesday, shipped it back Wednesday afternoon, they got it Thursday morning and shipped it back Thursday before midnight. I woke up Friday to an email that my laptop was coming home around 10:30 am.

I spent most of Friday moving Time Machine to the laptop and getting everything back up and running again. I’m so happy to have my old friend back.

And I’m thinking about getting some repairs done to my old Mac. A new battery. Some memory upgrades. So that it can be a backup if this ever happens again.

Have you ever had a complete tech meltdown? What did you do?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments