Barnes and Noble Signing in June

June 11 and 12 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., I will be at the Waterbury Barnes and Noble at 235 Union Street, Waterbury, CT, for a Teen Weekend Book Signing.

Barnes and Noble will be selling copies of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts and I will be there to sign them and chat about the book and writing. I’ll also have freebies: bookmarks, wristbands, stickers, and temporary tattoos.

You can also sign up for my newsletter and enter my giveaway for a Barnes and Noble giftcard if you stop by my signing on either day.

IMG_9984***

I’m hard at work on a short story for another contest. I always forget how awful my first drafts are until I’m in one. Trying to get the first draft done before I move onto copy edits for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan in early June.

***

The cover design for The Six Train to Wisconsin will be updated this summer/fall. The series has a different concept for the covers and so I’ll be retiring the white house with the snowy background.

***

I’m going away Memorial Day weekend, so there will not be a new post here on May 30 as I will be out of state and away from my laptop.

Woohoo!

Going offline to connect in person!

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

 

Posted in author appearance, Events, me time, Personal, publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

What’s a Good Day?

IMG_1230

A good day is stepping outside and discovering a few of these little white flowers blooming and remembering how they filled the yard of your childhood home.

IMG_1227

A good day is looking up and realizing spring is here and I’m on schedule with my line edits.

IMG_1233

A good day is when Reagan sits on the porch because she’s decided it’s time to go in rather than making me round her up.

IMG_1234

 

A good day is sharing the most amazing mini pulled pork sandwiches with  a friend, and she lets me have the last one for tomorrow.

 

IMG_1235

A good day is discovering that you love a spicy mayo dipping sauce on handmade onion rings more than you love ketchup on them.

It’s diving into a 1/4 rack of baby back and spare ribs and watching the meat fall right off the bone. Having that sweet smoked taste fill my mouth and swearing my tastebuds are shivering in delight.

It’s savoring the tangy and tart of the cucumber salad.

IMG_1252A good day is ending a meal with a cupcake and finding an oreo cookie hidden in the bottom.

IMG_1246

A good day is listening to a local band sing their hearts out.

What’s your good day look like?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

It’s All About the Books!

NIEAseal-2014-Finalist-Hi-Res

The Unbelievables Series News

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is a National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in YA fiction!

Beckett Publishing Group acquired the second book in The Unbelievables series (the sequel to TGWIG) with a publication date of fall 2017.

My publisher is also making TGWIG’s Kindle free for a very limited time: May 19, June 30 and July 1. If anyone doesn’t have a copy of the e-book, keep those dates in mind and head over to TGWIG’s Kindle page.

I’m planning on writing a Middle Grade short story for an MWA contest featuring Kat Preston as a tween. It will involve her and the ghosts. Hoping to get a first draft done this month.

The Six Train to Wisconsin Series News

I’m still laboring through line edits on the sequel.

It does finally have a title, though! It ended up being the same as my working title. My editor and I agreed that we wanted to keep it similar to the first book and once again hint at the journey Oliver and Kai would be taking.

Drumroll please…

Highway Thirteen to Manhattan

I’m hard at work on the cover design concept with my amazing cover designer. As soon as I have that finalized, I’ll share that with you too.

I may be updating The Six Train to Wisconsin’s cover this fall with the new release because I want to have a cohesive theme to my covers. I’ve spent hours looking at book covers and imagining how certain images could carry through the whole series.

I’m also deciding which of my original photos will be in the paperback and what the bonus content will be. I’m leaning toward reader discussion questions and deleted scenes because I had one I really hated cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in book release, publishing, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

A Me Weekend

I thought I’d share some highlights from my weekend. It was a weekend of not writing.:)

I’ve started coloring again to relax my mind during revisions. It’s something I do just for me. It does focus my mind, but sometimes it frustrates me. I’ve been using crayons, but I’m going to try colored pencils since the lines are so tiny in these images.

 

IMG_1119

Brett came in to visit.

Friday we went on a nice walk and caught up.

IMG_1122IMG_1126Then we went to dinner with my parents at Tuscany, where Brett ate “the best lasagna he’s ever tasted.”

After dinner, we settled in for a bad horror movie, Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs. We love the one star ones. Our favorite parts were when the dinosaurs hopped out of the giant hole. They also had a penchant for only taking a small bite out of each person. And watching the neckline descent and the cleavage ascend for the woman running the mine was truly AMAZING.La

Whereas some movies take too much time with the setup, this jumped into action. Though we are still unclear how dinosaurs who are mostly carnivores were able to survive in a small pocket underground for so long. But hell, this was hilarious.

The next morning, we breakfasted at la Fortuna.

IMG_1132

The we hit up Target and I took him to Frankie’s for a steak sandwich and half of a famous footlong hotdog.

Then we went home to get ready for his cousin’s wedding that evening at the New Haven Country Club. It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony and everyone had an amazing time.

 

How was your weekend? Did you make enough “Me Time” for yourself?

Posted in me time, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Hello Line Edits!

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 2.52.04 PM

Hello, my amazing readers! I thought I’d start out with a little treat. Here’s a behind the scenes look at Six Train’s sequel in progress. It’s a screenshot of what the line edits from my editor look like for the first page of Six Train’s sequel.

My amazing editor, Jessica Jernigan, sent me the line edits on April 21. I’m hip deep in them right now working on 50 pages a day.

This page was a pretty easy page to accept all changes after I’d read through them. Other pages, I agonize over a change. 90% of them eventually get accepted. But 10% of the time, I write a comment to follow up for clarification with my editor or to reconsider before making a decision.

There are 4019 insertions, 4133 deletions, 18 moves, 115 formatting, and 106 comments that all need to be reviewed, evaluated, and approved or marked for follow up by me.

This is intense brain work. I tried to do 75 pages in a day and I was fairly certain my mind was melting like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Phase 2 of line edits is smoothing out the new version and making sure it is polished up for the copyeditor, which means I should be done with line edits in 3-4 weeks.

Copyedits will take a month between me and the copyeditor.

Then the book moves onto internal formatting.

ARCs (advance reader copies) will be available in July on NetGalley (as an ebook) and through giveaways on Goodreads and here on the blog (as a paperback). So please do stop back in June and July to enter those giveaways.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in revision, Writing, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

A Tale of Two Short Stories

IMG_1093

As I was wrapping up developmental edits for my editor on Six Train’s sequel, I thought I would do something fun on the side. I decided to enter a short story contest.

This was going to be a nice break from novel writing. I had a flash fiction piece that I could weave into a cool short story. I started working on it in March. When I handed in my developmental edits at the end of March, I had 2 weeks to really work on my short story before the deadline.

Doctors visits were scheduled, chores I hadn’t gotten to were going to happen, and I was taking care of other life things that I neglected during revisions. But this would be my only writing thing. Unfortunately, as I got more and more into edits, I realized this short story didn’t quite fit the requirements of the contest. But it did fit another contest I’d heard about and that contest had a deadline at the end of April.

Now I needed a new short story for the initial contest deadline that was coming up in less than 2 weeks.

I tried not to panic. But I did panic. Then I remembered that I kept a file of ideas and stories I’d started. There had to be something in there. I found 400 words I’d written back in 2010. I love this idea and never got back to it. I could weave it into a short story. Now I had something to enter in the first contest.

 

It was hard and challenging and frustrating. But then I realized, I hadn’t written a short story in 5 years. This was exactly how it should be.

One story “One Last Night” came easily and quickly. I had a detail that I had to work out, but the beginning, middle, and end were always apparent to me. It was short–1300 words. It had a more literary style of writing and was present tense. I submitted that last week.

With the other one “Her Mother’s Bones,” the end eluded me. I couldn’t figure out how to wrap it up. I got feedback from writing buddies and yet the end still wasn’t making sense. I didn’t know how to bring the story together. It took me another two weeks to see the ending. It’s far more plot driven and written in past tense. And now that’s almost ready to submit.

It made me laugh when I realized that my short stories also paralleled my writing styles with Six Train and The Girl.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ll let you know if either wins or gets selected for an anthology.

Do you write short stories? Do you submit them for anthologies?

 

 

Posted in Contest, Personal, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Are you the protagonist or antagonist?

I’m a bit under the weather so I thought I’d repost an old blog post on characters. Hope you enjoy it!

Kourtney Heintz's Journal

As I develop characters and decide on who is the protagonist and antagonist in my story, I realize real life is not nearly that simple. Sure in my life story I’m the protagonist. But in someone else’s story, I may be the antagonist.

Many times, I’ve been the sidekick. Even, an ancillary character that fills in the background. And the character I portray in other people’s lives is very different from the character I am in my own story.

Which randomly brings to mind this Klimt painting. Each character is drawn relative to the other. If you remove one, the others lose their positions. And I think that is what makes storytelling so interesting. Everyone’s role is defined by the others. Remove one person from the picture and everything shifts.

What got me thinking so deeply about this? My online Writer’s Digest class. We had to describe our protagonist and…

View original post 190 more words

Posted in Ramblings, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

The Funny Thing About Numbers

IMG_1059

Emerson freshly groomed and needing to cuddle in bed

 

Numbers don’t lie, but the conclusions we draw from them can be faulty. I used to think the majority of my readers of The Six Train to Wisconsin were paperback lovers. After all 70% of my sales were in paperback.

But that wasn’t the whole story behind that number. Because I wasn’t pursuing Kindle readers with the same focus and gusto as I pursued paperback readers. I have dozens of in-person events each year. Online, I did the blog tour, the giveaways, and the online ads, but had I really done the equivalent of all these in-person events?

I thought about it and realized I needed to play with price. It was the one thing I hadn’t done yet. Because I’d been advised to hold off until I had the second book in the series out. But I figured at this point what was there to lose.

First I did the 99 cent sales days. They created a nice bump in sales.

Then I tried the limited freebie days and after that ended, I saw a big jump in Kindle sales and in Kindle Unlimited reads.

Sometimes we form faulty conclusions and they become the premise for future decisions. Whenever you look at the numbers, remember to think about why you are seeing these numbers. What did you do to create these numbers? The causes of the numbers should influence what you do about them.

 

IMG_1046

Reagan in her floatie to keep from licking her hot spot.

Posted in Promotion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments