Friday, February 25, 2011
How Much Is Too Much?
A friend and I were discussing book releases yesterday, and how many releases per year are too many?
My goal at the moment is two per year. That gives me six months to promote each one, and it gives me 'breathing space'. I don't want to suddenly 'take the publishing world by storm' only to fizzle out and have my place taken by another go-getter.
No, I would rather build a solid group of readers who anxiously wait for my next release, knowing there will be one or two a year.
I do have friends who crank them out month after month, and I applaud their tenacity at keeping at it. I never want my writing to become a chore; I want it to be something I enjoy. I wonder at their promotions sometime. How effective is the promo when you're hurrying to meet deadlines; editing; AND suddenly yelling all over the internet, "OMG! I totally forgot my book came out today!"??
One author recently revealed she had four (4, and I'm NOT making this up!) releases on the same day. HUH??? Yes, with three different publishers. That just boggles the mind. Which book will she showcase? Will she take turns? What happens the rest of the year?
If I'm wrong about the effectiveness of the marketing, please let me know. Granted, I've been waiting for one book to be edited for over a year, and word of acceptance now for nine months. And with this new submission....If all four are released this year, I hope they are spaced far enough apart so I don't have someone bringing this post to my attention and calling me a hypocrite.
What's your take on this? And yes, if you're a part of what I call the 'Book-of-the-Month' Club, please enlighten me?
Monday, February 21, 2011
Welcome to Tell The Truth! Please introduce yourselves.
Hi, my name is Kenzie Michaels
Hello, my name is Kenzie Michaels.
Hello to you both! Welcome!
KM1: Thank you. It’s nice to be here.
KM2: (nods politely)
Would you please describe yourself as a child?
KM1: I was outgoing; I constantly shouted ‘Look at me! See what I can do!”, and made friends very easily.
KM2: I was always reading; I had only one best friend, and was painfully shy.
How about the high school years?
KM2: I was still shy; however, my best friend was popular and I met a lot of friends through him. I was in band and worked in the school library.
KM1: I found myself in the uncomfortable position of having my best friends’ boyfriends wanting to date me. I refused the first one, dated the second, and quit helping my friend the third time. All I was trying to do was HELP her; not steal her boyfriends away!
KM2: I remember that; you only dated the second guy after you got her blessing, right?
KM1: Of course!
How about college?
KM1: Did I go to college?
KM2: I majored in Social Work and had dreams of saving abused kids. You were busy partying.
KM1: Oh, that’s right. I discovered the opposite sex was a lot of fun!
KM2: I dated also, but more seriously. I had four long-term relationships…
KM1: And a couple of duds…
KM2: Well, yes. But I ended up with some great research for my books!
KM1: You mean our books.
KM2: If you want to get technical about it….
Okay, okay. Let’s talk about your writing career. What’s your writing style?
KM1: I started writing three years ago, when these characters jumped into my head and wouldn’t leave. It was the funniest thing! One minute I’m driving down the street, and the next minute, there’s an ex-con inside my head, yelling at me to write his story! And a few months later, I remembered a gigantic crush I had on my son’s teacher, so I thought, ‘what if I had been divorced…’ And that moment at the stove when two characters were arguing over the fact she was in HIS kitchen,…that was bizarre! Not to mention the other plots which arrived while I was in the shower, sitting at McDonald’s, at my class reunion….
KM2: We get the picture. Your imagination went into overdrive. Me, I write more slowly. I worked on a book for five years before I decided on how to end it. My ideas come from observations I made while pursuing my degree. I decided there were stories which needed to be told, so others would recognize signs of danger ahead.
KM1: You wanted to be Judy Bloom or Lavyrle Spencer. I was corrupted by Anny Cook.
How do you promote your work?
KM1: I spend a great deal of time online. I chat, blog, and beg people to interview me.
KM2: I set up at craft shows, arrange book signings at stores, and I’m always willing to encourage other writers.
KM1: I did Blog Talk Radio once and embarrassed the producer when the excerpt I read on air had the word ‘pussy’ in it. And I’m not talking cat. My stuff is on the explicit, bedroom door-open-style.
KM2: I try to leave something to the imagination. My readers are, after all, could be as young as twelve.
KM1: Not mine. They’d better be at least 18, although my daughter read my first pubbed book and pronounced it ‘tame’. She claimed she’d read worse at school, and she was fourteen!
KM2, you said you were shy. Would you still call yourself that today?
KM2: Absolutely! Put me in a group setting by myself, where I don’t know anyone, and I’m terrified!
KM1: ROLFMAO! Okay, as your friend BC Brown put it, you suffer situational shyness. Ask anyone at your writer’s group: You talk more than anyone else!
KM2: (blushing) Well, okay. I guess I’ve come out of my shell a bit.
KM1: A bit? You do realize the only reason I can only blog once a week is because YOU steal all the blogging ideas.
KM2: Then how do you explain the past month?
KM1: No internet access. Plus the sub-zero temps made me want to seek a warmer climate. And you were too busy answering your email. I haven’t checked mine since last year!
KM2: True. You did participate in several chats, though.
So when is your next release?
KM1: Mine was last November, and I’m waiting for word on two more submissions. I think I’m giving up on one of them, and sending it somewhere else.
KM2: I’m also waiting for word of acceptance. I really hope I hear soon. A reader came in three months ago and asked if it was available yet.
Okay ladies. Time to identify. Will the real Kenzie Michaels please stand up?
And Number 2, would you please introduce yourself?
KM2: I’m actually Molly Daniels. But this was fun!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
My name is Kenzie Michaels and I'm addicted to reading...wait, wrong introduction. This is where I'm supposed to say I'm addicted to writing or my computer, right?
My latest release is all about how the lives of four people can change over the course of six days. Is it Fate? Free Will? You decide:) Wild At Heart is available at www.xoxopublishing.com and on Kindle:)
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
Hell yes! I'm working on one right now, on and off, which is scarily mirroring a friend's life.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Hee hee hee...wouldn't you like to know? Actually, I fictionalize Life a great deal. Such as the opening scene in Teacher's Pet. Ahhh, now there was a fantasy! Too bad I couldn't ACT on it!
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
It depends. Sometimes I'll come up with a topic or situation and research first; other times I'll do it on an 'as needed' basis.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
No; just fun and relaxation is all I'm happy with. Unless they decide to try out a bedroom scene or two....and let me know if it will or will not work, lol!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'd have to say up to this point, I've been a pantser. I get an idea and start at the beginning and write til the end. And talk about stories taking on lives of their own....I had no idea Wild At Heart was going to spend half the book in Colorado! Or that a certain plot twist would occur in Teacher's Pet.
How long did it take for you to be published?
I'm embarrassed to reveal it took me only three months for All She Ever Wanted, and with only one rejection notice (see next question). Wild At Heart, however, took three years.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Per the previous question....READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES! That's why ASEW was rejected the first time. I hadn't followed the rules. Otherwise, I'd maybe be part of the EC Family...
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Either one. I wrote Teacher's Pet with both, when my kids needed the computer for homework. As for must-haves....Iced tea, cookies, or a sandwich for breaks.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Check my blog roll for my fave e-authors. Amarinda Jones encouraged me to write something with more 'heat', and TP was the result. I've also been influenced by Danielle Steele in my POV issues. A habit I'm trying to break.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I don't think there's much they don't already know...I play the drums; I'm a good crisis counselor; I'm also a closet rock-n-roll chick; and my bff was the basketball star when we were in HS. I was a band geek who worked in the library. God only knows how or why we became friends!
What is your favorite love scene to write or read? (ie: First kiss, passion after a fight, reunion)
I'm a sucker for reunion scenes!
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
Hmmmm....it could be one of three. In the 4th grade, the boy I had a crush on gave me a beautiful homemade Valentine; when I was 20, I received my first ever red rose; and in 1988, I broke up with my boyfriend, but another friend took me out to dinner and presented me with a tiny stuffed bear who sat on the dash of my car for years. That friend later became my spouse.
Sweetest gift ever given to you?
Hahahaha,....'Co-Pilot', the bear:)
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Teacher's Pet will also be released soon (I hope!) at Freya's Bower, as soon as edits are approved:)
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Seriously, I've been thrown into a a bad teenage soap opera. (Sighing dramatically) Drama, oh how I hate thee.....But at least Molly has great material for another character, should she or I need to channel an angry child!
Okay. Onto the topic at hand. What was it again? Oh yeah...publishing secrets or something like that. Hang over while I pop over and check.
Okay, it's really dirty little secrets about writing. And since you all know by now that a) I write when the muse is hot (by that, I mean in spurts) and b) I don't have maid service, a private jet, or even am independently wealthy, what more is there to say? Since next week's topic is a self interview, I'll have Molly interview me, and I'll post it here. Whaddya say? So come back in a few days for everything Kenzie:)