Monday, June 30, 2008
The only problem is I'm too tired today to do anything else. I keep sitting here thinking about all the things I could be doing, and vegging out while staring at the screen. LOL
I think I'm going to take the night off.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Facebook gives me hives. I registered, but it was just too hard to figure out quickly, and I don't have an army of people I'm interested in inviting.
MySpace never did like me. I tried. I have a MySpace blog too... somewhere.
I just found Yuwie and hey, I like it! I like that they pay you to do it too. :o Yeah they do. Makes sense when you listen to their intro video as to why as well. Places like MySpace and Facebook make a KILLING on advertising, and you do all the actual work. Yuwie does it too, but they share... now isn't that nice? Same features, (acutally BETTER features because it's so easy to use their templates and frameworks), and they pay you.
You can blog, share videos, pictures, and probably a lot more I haven't investigated yet, those are just the parts I've done already. It's really cool. Check it out. It's completely free to use.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I FINISHED Shakedown! Yay! I have my first really new release in over a year. The others were re-released from being previously published, or previously under contract with a publisher that went under, so while two were new, they didn't really feel new. Shakedown is completely new.
I updated my website, and made a new video trailer for Shakedown, and also sent it off to its various destinations... I'm just beat.
Now, after doing all the research I've done online over the past week for jobs, for information for assignments, I need to start looking for some hotel deals. I need a vacation.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Do you think it matters? Do you think it fits one type of story more than another? Here are three of my covers... one young adult, one romance, and the last an almost finished thriller with a bit of a humorous twist.
Do you think the genre matters? Do you think the romance cover is too dark for a romance? Does it matter?
Three out of five covers of mine are black backgrounds... it's obviously a penchant I have. I don't do that to coverart that I create covers for others--unless specifically asked for it. Maybe it's some sort of darkness inside me trying to assert itself--or maybe I just like black.
You can find it here at Dennis Cass Wants You... (lol, okay it was just fun shortening it).
Now my email informs me that I can look more attractive as a man. ??? Okay. Well that wasn't really my goal so far as I remember.
Come to think of it, spam email is everybody's common headache. I should just avoid looking in that 'spam' folder, but sometimes real emails get shoved in there so I try to remember to peek at it once a day, just to be sure.
I'll tell you though, you can get some real revelations when you do that. Looking in the mirror, I don't think I'm a guy.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I was telling someone the other day that in some way, big or small, all of my characters come from inside me. Surely I'm not as evil as any villian I've ever written. I'm no demon like Alexander. I'm not a hooker, or a cop... I've written about all of those in one form or another. Still, deep, deep inside the emotional connection is there to them.
In the same way, somehow I have to connect to their style, their personality, and general outlook on life even if it is totally foreign to my own. I have to be able to understand them, and remember what each of the characters is like all the way through the story, even as they evolve and change.
You can't afford to distance yourself even from the most evil of characters, and that can be challenging. None of it is more challenging to me than fashion though. It's just not my normal thing... so, the chain reminds me.
Do you have any reminders? Things tha trigger you to keep a certain element, or character at the forefront of your mind as you write?
I have to admit, as I read the first two paragraphs of the post there, I squirmed a bit. I love writing. I like (notice the change there, lol, it IS still work) doing freelance writing. I HATE searching and applying for the work--so, I put it off until all of my current work is about all dried up, and then I cry about how hard it is to make money online, even if the time just prior to that I was making very good money at it.
My fault entirely.
Anyway, go read the article, it's fantastic. I've added the blog to my blogroll too. There's a lot of information on that blog, and way more than any one post or topic would cover. It's well worth your time to cruise by and check it out.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This is the new cover for my upcoming thriller 'Shakedown'. Shakedown was first written as a script prospect and is more of a comedy/thriller long the lines of 'Lethal Weapon'. I had a lot of fun with it though. Might have to follow up with a short series with these characters.
Let me know what you think of the new cover.
Wow I didn't realize it would look so bluring (the title). Going to have to fix that. Back in a minute. lol. It doesn't look like that in the large size, but it needs to be sharper even in small sizes.
Cool, hopefully you'll agree that's a bit better.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
At Pink Petal Books we believe that love is a beautiful thing, and what’s more romantic than receiving flowers? Of course, giving flowers doesn’t have to be romantic, but isn’t it more fun when it is? Pink Petal Books seeks well-written romance stories starting with one character receiving flowers. The flowers can be received for any reason, and they don’t necessarily need to be received from the other major character(s) in the story.
Each themed anthology will contain three to four 15,000-25,000 word novellas released first as individual ebooks, then published together into one print volume. Heat levels in each story need to start at sensual and work up to erotic. On the Pink Petal Books scale these will be rose or cosmos stories, with partially or fully explored love scenes. Language may range from the occasional frank or graphic language to no holds barred.
Our first anthology will be Pink Petal Books Presents: Shifters. All stories need to contain a shifter as either the hero or heroine. Different shifters preferred. Think about animals you haven’t seen in books, or seen very rarely, and use your imagination. You can submit a wolf, but preference will be given to the different animals, so the wolf story should be exceptional and new. Deadline for stories will be July 15 with decisions made by August 1. Electronic publication will happen during our official launch month of October, with print publication to follow in February 2009.
As long as your story starts with a character receiving flowers and fits the theme and sensuality level, there are no other restrictions on genre.
Payment will be 35% royalty on sales price for ebooks (except stories sold through third party vendors, which will be 45% of net (sales price - vendor cut = net). Print books will be our standard 10% royalty split between the three or four authors in the volume.
How to submit: Please email your complete manuscript attached in RTF/Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in the body of the email a word count and brief blurb (one or two paragraphs). For more information about us, please read our complete submission guidelines.
Upcoming anthologies are:
Pink Petal Books Presents: Dragons
Submission Deadline: November 15, 2008 decisions by Dec 1
Electronic Publication: March 2009, print July 2009
Pink Petal Books Presents: Nature (think Shamans and Druids)
Submission Deadline: April 15, 2009 decisions by May 1
Electronic Publication: August 2009, print December 2009
For more information please visit Pink Petal Books – http://www.pinkpetalbooks.com/
Pink Petal Books is an imprint of Jupiter Gardens Press, a division of Jupiter Gardens, LLC. For more information about Jupiter Gardens Press, a metaphysical and sf/f publisher, please visit http://www.jupitergardenspress.com/
Sunday, June 22, 2008
...it seems like that anyway. The year was 2000. I was a beginning author with many short stories, and WIPS in progress, still at the time posting on forums and boards for opinion on my stories and writing, and beginning to develop a small following of 'fans'--that's when it happened. Super fan showed up.
I'm smiling here because that's what I'll call her I think from now on. Marie was my first 'real' fan. When I say that I mean because she went the step beyond posting responses on forums, she took the time to write to me. She was my very, very first fan mail.
The other day, I mentioned my first fan mail being from the library reader. I'd forgotten--I was wrong. She was my second. Marie was the first person to ever write to me and tell me how much she enjoyed the story she was reading at the time, and quite possibly was, at least, one of the forces that propelled me into wanting to get published.
I'd written stories from the time I could remember, but it wasn't until that year, early in 2000 that I took the initiative to post anything online. Perhaps it was because that was also shortly after gaining internet access to the 'new' world-wide-web.
In the mid-80's my hubby and I bought a pair of computers, and got 'hooked up' to the fledgling AOL that was one of the few 'internet' servers at the time, but that wasn't ANYTHING like the experience I found in 1999 when once again giving the internet a cruise.
Anyway, back to the story...
Shortly after the arrival of 'super fan' on the scene she became a faithful reader of everything I put out. Commenting, suggesting, and, of course--emailing. She was one of the first readers of Paradise (The Road To Paradise) my first novel. I sent it to her as an advance reader to be sure I'd made my mark.
I've known her ever since and she is a good friend though the years, and still a faithful reader and today, after reading the anniversary edition of Paradise, 'Married To A Rockstar' --now recovered, retitled, and with a new ending scene, she reviewed it for me, and it warmed my heart.
Here's her review she posted:
Just as incredible as the first time i read it *****
22 Jun 2008 (updated 22 Jun 2008)
by Marie Holloway
Married to a Rock Star delivers an entertaining account and perspective on the life of a rock star and all that is involved in that type of industry. This book is an excellent fictional resource to music fan enthusiasts who would enjoy having an in’s and out’s view of life on the road with a rock star and with a perfect back dropt of love and romance that enriches the story. In reviewing this book, I must say that rereading this book after I initially came across it in 2001 and I found the story to be just as fresh and exciting as all those years ago. It’s a book you can’t and won’t put down because just as you think you’ve figured out what lies ahead for our star couple Isaiah and Karen there are new twists and turns that comes your way.
The author, Tami Parrington, does a wonderful job in setting this story a part from your typical romance where you could get distracted with some syrupy love story and loose focus of what the story is conveying. Instead she writes a complete story full of love, loss, tragedy, heartbreak, and redemption and it unfolds in a way that no matter what obstacle comes along you never veer from rooting for the main characters. Even with their flaws you come to really care about these people and hope that in spite of their highs and lows that ultimately the story turns out as we all hope all stories turn out with a satisfying conclusion. If you want a story that never travels a predictable road in terms of reaching a goal then Married to a Rock Star is the book for you.
The reason I bring this up (beyond the obvious pride factor) is that the relationships you can forge as an author will sometimes span lifetimes, and create long wonderful memories. Remembering those old times of early emails makes me smile warmly, and appreciate her all the more.
Knowing how much this story still has impact on her after all this time also makes me feel so good inside. I've always enjoyed this piece and knowing it is still enjoyable to others leaves a very warm, happy feeling inside.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Back to my little story: When I first published the novel as The Road To Paradise, one of my first sales hits was to my own public library. They told me (as kind as they could with a bit of a snub to POD) that they usually didn't carry books that were self-published even by local authors (this is a teeny little nowhere library too. lol) BUT, the librarian said, they would accept a copy and have a reader review it. If the review was favorable they would send me a check for it and carry it--two weeks later not only was the novel accepted, but a note from the reader came along with the check from the library. I had my very own piece of fan mail for the first time ever.
Strange and wonderful memories can be created along the way, even in this wacky world of publishing. It's something I'll always treasure, as much as I do the book itself, that for all of its original troubles remains one of my favorite works. I hope you like the new cover. I even added a new ending scene to the new version. It was a great deal of fun re-visiting my old characters. It has even sparked a little desire to sequel it with what happened to them ten years down the road... hum, the road gets longer. :)
No matter how hard, or easy it is, the one fact remains: I can't stay away from it for long.
I'm a writer.
I may never be famous. I may never be rich. I will always be a writer. It's not 'who' I am... it's what I am. I can deny that from time to time, and I've tried, but you can't run from what is embeded in your soul. You can try to squelch the words, but somehow they will find a way to come pouring out--you may as well just give in to that. That's one lesson I learned a long time ago.
It still gets to be too much at times and a break is fine. I've been asked by people, both casual aquaintances and close friends and relatives when I'm going to write again during those brief hiatus'. My answer is usually, when I have to. Of course that doesn't mean financially as some of those who don't know me may assume. It means when I can't control the flow any longer. When I have to.
Being back does feel good, and I'm sure it will feel good for quite some time. When it comes again that I have to leave to save my sanity (no snickers I do have some sane moments) I have no worries. At some point I'll be back. You can't leave what's inside behind. It's not something that disappears. I have to explain that some times to friends or relatives.
It seems as if they think if you're not writing for a spell, it's gone and you don't have it anymore. Like some magic fairy comes and takes the gift of creation away... lol, well I don't think so, at least I haven't found that to be the case.
I hope not anyway. Now I feel like looking over my shoulder for some mysterious and angry little fairy flitty about trying to stike me dumb with her wand. (No comments about how she must have already hit me a few times. haha)
For the time being, my little (benevolent, kind, generous) fairy sits patiently waiting for me to gather my wits once more and delve back into the mirky waters of the publishing world.
Peek-a-boo... I'm back again, and it's so much easier/and harder than the last time.
Friday, June 20, 2008
If there is, I have it. I HATE captcha. I understand the need for those annoying scribbles of code. I don't like spam either, but there has to be some alternative. I just went though about 4 minutes of consistant re-tries to post a comment on a fellow blogger's post. I had to have re-typed about eight versions of different CAPTCHA letters. At least blogger does change the font style each time, hoping that if you couldn't read the squiggly one, you can read the fat-smooshed ones, or the skinny-squished ones, or the... dang, okay, I'm old, I take my glasses off to read, and all, but I don't have a problem with typing like this. Those CAPTCHA things will be the death of me though.
Whatever disease the CAPTCHA disability is, I definately have it.
I don't know which one will win the RITA, but I know they all deserve an Oscar.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The Kindle site is so much faster to get live pages on. They take an extra few hours, it seems, to get the descriptions up though. Hell's Own just started showing the description later in the evening yesterday, and Computer Games isn't showing up yet... probably in a few hours since it just went live.
The more I see of the Kindle format for reading the more I like it over the other possibilities for portable ebook readers. I like the actual 'page' format rather than the continuous flow of some of the readers.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Then it dawns on me that I don't need a secretary: I have one--
She checks all my mail, and inspects each incoming parcel to be sure I haven't missed anything when unpacking too:
And she has even enlisted the help of her friends to become paperweights. So really, I have every office helper I could ever want.
And they accept payment in the form of PurPal, pets, and Fancy Feast.
I'm still open to the idea of a personal assistant, however. I wonder if one of the dogs would accept the position--fetch the laundry up, fetch the mail, fetch... probably not, they're lazier than the cats.See, can't even convince them to unpack the luggage.
Thanks to PaperbackWriter for the inspiration for this post.
So here it is (uploaded to YouTube so it may take a moment to appear)
It's just a simple video as a test, I'm still learning all about the features of Power Point. I'd like to use it to create workshop videos for the free area of my website.
Uploaded on authorSTREAM by TamiP
HAHAHA everything but the animations. Figures. For some reason that wasn't available on 'old' versions of powerpoint and doesn't convert to those not recognizing the newer version. Hum.... kind of takes the fun out of it without the animations.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
For The Road To Paradise someone I'd known for sometime, and talked to daily back then made a passing comment that someday I'd wake up and he'd have purhcased the house for sale next to mine and we'd be neighbors. That kind of came out of the blue since he's a 'city-boy' who is very career oriented, and I'm a 'country-girl' (oh brother, we're not even classified as rural, we're considered sub-rural) and the idea that he'd suddenly ditch the hustle and bustle of his career to move out to the middle of a cornfield just amuzed me enough to ask... what if?
What if is always a dangerous thought for me to have. That's the beginning. That's when the wheel start to spin, and quite often, I go 'off road'.
How about you? Where do your ideas come from?
I've seen some publishers ask for disabled characters... that's a very good way to promote the understanding of handicapped individuals, but how far do you go before it's a parody, and unbecoming?
I think in some ways none of the above can compare to the ethnic publishers, and the other big publishers that create ethnic 'lines' soley to promote to certain race groups. I understand the idea in some ways, but it also promotes a divide I think. I know people of different cultures than my own, and with some limited exceptions, if you never saw them face-to-face, or asked them pointedly (if indeed you'd never seen them in person) you wouldn't know they were of a different race. So why make the divide more pronounced? In fact, there are several of my own books that it's really up to your own imagination what the character's racial background is. There may be little clues, but nothing so obvious as to block the reader (whatever their race) from identifying with them... THAT'S the key, global identification ability--to me anyway.
I've even been asked on occassion why I don't spend more time really cementing the 'looks' of my characters. My answer has always been that in the books I've loved the most since childhood, or later, the ones I've loved the most are the ones that allowed me the freedom to envision the character as I wished.
STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.
I need to paste that in big bold letters at the top of my 19" flat screen (snicker, yeah I'm still happy to be out of the 'big box' age). It's true though, I need to remind myself constantly--get up, move, jump around... eat. Yes, eat. I can't even count the number of times I've minimized the word program and looked at the clock to see it was almost time for bed, and I've missed dinner completely. (Forget about lunch, I always miss that.)
The thing is, what happens when you starve yourself? You reach for junk. Okay, maybe you don't, but I sure do. Not good, not good. Which brings me to my point. There are great products out there to detoxify your body. Orovo detox makes a great product to help get rid of the toxins that build up from ... drinking too much coffee (whistles and looks around like I can't possibly be talking about myself, eating too much junk (I'm not going to even bother denying that, I just told you I did), or even just the every day normal stuff that while good for you, can still build up in your system.
Whatever you do to maintain your health, and well-being while working endless hours behind a glaring computer screen, make one thing your mantra:
STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD
at least several times a day.
You CAN update via cellphone, which I've added, and will be really cool if I ever leave the house---okay, I do from time to time, but it's sure not often. What I REALLY would use is the thing that isn't working yet--figures right?
I'm sure they'll get it up and running well soon though, because it's famously popular already and just a 'baby' in the social network scheme. One of the newer, and cooler ways to get blog traffic it's worth any writer's time to investigate, and it's free and easy to get in on the fun. Just be careful, it will get under your skin...
Are you a twit yet?
Now she's gearing up for a second round to her virtual workshops on her blog Paperback Writer that will help give insight to the amazing way she builds entire world's for her characters to live in, and her readers to lose themselves in.
No one does it better, and her generosity in sharing her knowledge is well-known on the web. I can't wait for this workshop. Writer's all know how important believeable characters are, but sometimes we forget to make the world they live in (especially if it's other-worldly) totally believable too. It's even harder than character building. It can be tricky, and create holes in the story. Get stronger in your ability to create your character's world... in your stories you are God... find out how to be a good one.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I guess it could be likened to the many, many different types of blogs. That would be fair enough. That doesn't stop people from looking for new blogs, and enjoying what they personally like from the vast selections. (Hey, I can reason things away with the best of them, can't I? It has a truth to it though.)
For now, it will be interesting to see if it pays off. That's the true guage, and before any of the stuanch purists decry that statement, think about it. If it were not the true measure of success, why would anyone think 'traditional publishing' was the hallmark of quality?
When embarking on the adventure of exploring the brave new world of the Internet there is bound to be trial and error. All roads lead to somewhere. Hopefully a few will lead to glory. LOL
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
How's that for freaky?
Well anyway, what I came to post on was a little thank you to Bernita from her An Innocent A-list Blog for pointing out not only a great free download on Writing from author Mark Terry but a really wonderful new blog to visit. I love his insights, and interesting tidbits. His website is really cool too. That's where you can find the free pdf file ebook 'On Writing'. Go to his website then click on 'Writings' on the sidebard, then scan down to the link for On Writing and click on it. You'll be glad you did. It's a very cool read, and it's done in such an easy reading style that it's a fun read too.
Okay okay, it's just a 'pretty'. It serves no usedful purpose really. It's just cool to look at. Hey, it's the little things. LOL
The world really did seem like it was crashing down all around me yesterday. A huge tornado formed about 15 minutes away, I could see the clouds rolling. I had to pray they wouldn't come in this direction--and thank God they didn't, but they did move, and tore up a path along the I 57 corridor going north east causing all kinds of destruction. It even flipped a semi and TORE IT IN HALF on the interstate. It destroyed homes, and took out power lines, causing fires and blown tranformers all over the northern part of the state.
So, in retrospect, my 'little things' aren't that important, but they still have their place, and everyone needs to feel secure in their own little world, even if it means something as simple as finding a widget code they lost along the way.
It has all my new releases of course, but it also has some free stuff, and keep checking back because I'm going to be adding other fun things as well. Hope you enjoy, and visit a lot.
Sometimes I think I'm more addicted to seeing all the interesting places people who visit are from than I am selling books. Yesterday I had a visitor from Abu Dhabi (I know you're a somewhat regular, introduce yourself! Say hi on a comment, anything. That's so interesting.). Things like that just really intrigue me.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Okay, so I use my own name, but there have been times. When I dabbled in erotica I used a 'pen name'. Was it because I didn't want the neighbors to know I wrote steamy, hot, hardcore? Nah, most of them knew. The genre didn't really fit me though, so that name has pretty much been retired.
The reason I use different 'names' -- in my case, even with the erotica it was a derivation of my actual name -- is to differentiate between genres. I simply can't 'stay put' inside any given genre. I've written novels in the romance genre, the chick lit genre, and even, my latest Hell's Own, in the dark fantasy genre. I change the 'name' to fit the genre, or at least to show a difference.
What are your feelings on pseudonyms? If you're a writere, do you use them? As a reader, do you pay attention to things like that? Do you think minor derivations make a difference, or if you're going to do it, do it all the way and completely come up with something different?
Monday, June 02, 2008
I linked each title to it's own little google page. Google has a new thing it's trying out now which is an online simple to use site builder. It's free. It still has a few bugs to work out, but overall it's kind of fun, and really simple to use. You can read a sample chapter on there of each novel. Check them out. I'm so very happy to be back in touch with my soul.