Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2 0 1 3 !!!

It's New Years Eve... like RIGHT! NOW!

And i'd be lying if I didn't tell you that new years was pretty much my most favorite holiday ever.  There's just something MAGICAL about new year's eve.

I don't know if it's all the promise of what's to come... or if it's the hope, the excitement, the unknown, or all the chances we seem to give ourselves at the start of a new year... but whatever it is, I FREAKING LOVE IT!

You already know that the beginning of 2012 saw a lot of struggle.. the loss of my home, still no job, and my books not really selling enough to make me feel "worthy."

BUT, the end of 2012 has pretty much rocked. I released The Perfect Game in October and since then it's hit the USA Today Best Seller's list, been a Barnes & Noble best seller, a Kobo Best Seller, along with being an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Book for OVER 60 days (and it's only been out for like 70 something)!!!! That surpassed even my wildest hopes and dreams! I never expected to have the longevity I am having with this book.  :)

But I am so freaking thankful. 

AND HAPPY.

Sincerely.

2012 brought me an agent.

It brought me deals and offers...

It brought me audio versions of ALL THREE of my currently released books! I never expected that. In all honesty, I'd never even thought about it. So that was such a nice surprise. Thank you Audible.  :)

2012 has blown my mind.

YOU have blown my mind.

But as I sit here writing this blog post, I'm honestly hoping and praying that this is just the beginning. I find myself wishing with all my heart that the end of 2012 is just the beginning of what's to come for me in 2013.

I want to continue to grow my team, my business, my brand, my name- I want people behind me (or beside me) who want the best for me, my books and my readers... and who understand how the indie world works (or at least are willing to listen and try to figure it out). It's different coming onto the scene as a traditionally published author versus going from being a self pubbed one to a traditionally published one. I want all sorts of brilliant people around me who want to help me rise to the top. Positive, good, smart and ambitious people. Here's to hoping my team grows in just that way in 2013 because I want to continue being successful.  :)

Because honestly...being a successful author feels really fucking good. The fact that I am making a living from writing now... I cannot even put into words how absolutely mind blowing it feels. How I finally feel like I am doing the right thing- I'm on the right path- I'm following my heart and it's finally paying off. And I can stop beating myself up for being a non-income-bringing-in-loser-mcloser-face.  lol  You know what I mean. It doesn't feel good to contribute NOTHING to your household.

But now I am! And it's been so FULFILLING!

THANK YOU.

Because I've said it a million times before, but it bears being repeated... I can't do this without you. 

I could have never had the year I just did without every single one of you who gave my book a chance- who fell in love with the story I told- and who recommended it to other people.

Your word of mouth is my best friend. And I can never tell you "thank you" enough for it. Just please know that I never take you for granted.  And that I honestly do try my best to answer every email, tweet, facebook post, etc.  Because you mean the freaking world to me. You're not just "a reader"... I consider you a friend.

So kittens... Here's to a freaking amazingly MAGICAL 2013
For all of us! 
I hope you follow your heart and it leads you to true joy. Thank you for inspiring me with your words, your emails, your posts... and i'll do my best to keep turning out books that make you proud.

Remember when I released The Perfect Game I talked about getting a tattoo if it reached the Amazon Top 100?

Well I did it.

Just a little while ago. By a Giants fan, but let's not talk about that part. (hi tito's vodka, you are amazeballs)

This is what I hope I do for every.single.one.of.you.

Is it bad if I already want to add to the tattoo?  LOL



Happy New Year everyone! I love you! 
xoxoox

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

After Christmas The Perfect Game SALE!


Okay!  So in celebration of all the new kindles, ipads, ipad mini's and nooks out there... i've lost my freaking marbles and made The Perfect Game only 99 cents!

99 pennies.
50 cents (you'll get the reference after you read the book) and 49 more.

seriously?

99 cents!?

Yeah.  SO GO GET IT!  please?  

Have an amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket?  Let's spend 99 of those cents on this book!  LOL

But really, tell your friends... tell your neighbors... tell your enemies.  unless they really suck  :)

AND THANK YOU!  Thank you so much for helping me have the most successful year i've ever had in my professional life.

And if we rock TPG back up the charts, who knows what will happen in the future!  

Links?  Here you go.

the amazing amazon

the bombastic barnes & noble


Thank you for spreading the word. I can't do it alone and I really can't do it without you. I appreciate your help, your amazingness and your general awesomeness so much. I hope you know that.  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ONE DAY SALE! 99 authors, 99 books, 99 cents!

Seriously!  This is happening RIGHT NOW!  For ONE DAY ONLY we have 99 BOOKS from 99 AUTHORS for only 99 CENTS!!!!

http://buymereadme.com

What book do I have on there?  Chance Encounters!  For 99 cents!  For 1 day!  :)

http://buymereadme.com


AND YOU CAN WIN ALL SORTS OF PRIZES!!!!!!!

GO!


NOW!!!

HTTP://BUYMEREADME.COM

Monday, December 17, 2012

do i have a favorite book i've written?

Someone asked me that last night... which one of my books was my FAVORITE!?!?!?!?!?

At first, I just sat there staring at her like "how the hell am i supposed to answer that question?!??!!" 

But then I realized...
I absolutely do have a favorite.

I told her that I was most proud of The Perfect Game. That i'd worked so hard to learn, grow and become a better writer and storyteller that at this point... that's the one that i'm the most proud of.  :)

But the truth is...
The book that is my favorite is the one that started this whole journey. The original story that I couldn't get out of my head. The dream that haunted me for over ten years. The boy I've never met who will always own a piece of my heart.

I'm talking about In Dreams.

That book is my favorite because it's my guts, my heart and my soul. It's a part of me in ways I only wish you all understood. It's my favorite because it represents so many aspects of life that I believe to be true; like soulmates, reincarnation, past-lives, talking to the dead...

And I was pulled to write it. It called to me so strongly I could no longer ignore it. It HAD to be written. Even if it wasn't written very well, it was a story that demanded to be told. In Dreams is more personal to me than anything else i've written- probably because I didn't just let you into a couple years of my life, I brought you into my heart, into my dreams, into my soul and my beliefs. I brought you into MY ENTIRE LIFE.  In Dreams isn't a simple story about love. It's a story about love that spans lifetimes. A love you can't get over or move past. It's about a love that pulls you in so tightly- even if you don't get why- you know you don't want to let it go.

So my answer to her?
"My favorite book is the one that's written the worst and that people hate the most. How ironic is that?" 

PS- so many of you have found In Dreams lately and have fallen in love with it. I want you to know how much that means to me.  I know it's rough and not written as well as I would like, but we all have to start somewhere right?  :)  THANK YOU for giving it a chance. I am thankful. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Boston Book Signing!

Hey all!

So my next official book signing will be in BOSTON in MARCH.  I know it's still a few months away, but if you're planning on going, you need to register.

Don't worry, it's FREE- but they need a head count. 

If you're in the Boston area, please come by. I'd love to meet you, sign your forehead, or whatever else you'd like me to sign.  :) 




Go here for details:
http://bostonauthorevent.blogspot.com


Saturday, November 24, 2012

you want to write a book?

I can't even begin to tell you how many emails I get from various people who tell me that they want to write a book. (this also happens in person A LOT. and I do mean, a.lot.) They all ask me the same questions... do I have any advice for them? What should they do? How should they begin? etc, etc.

I honestly NEVER know what to say. Basically, the only thing that comes to my mind is- sit your ass down and start. I don't know what to say beyond that. Writing isn't necessarily something that you plan from start to finish like a meeting with bullet points (although maybe for some writers it is). Things start to evolve as you write... characters take on their own personalities and want to do their own things... where you thought your story was headed may completely change direction. You have to be flexible. You have to be willing to deviate from your plan. You have to let your story grow branches, sprout leaves, become this beautiful tree with roots and depth and strength that you didn't anticipate or plan for.

Writing a book is hard work. It's not easy. It's freaking torture at times. You will want to rip all your hair out. You'll be so in love with your story and your characters one minute, and think it's the most boring, piece of shit story you've ever read the next. There will be times that you'll feel like if you have to read one more word of your story ever again, you will throw your laptop off a bridge. You'll get stuck. You'll have writer's block. You'll get frustrated. You'll be on the most beautiful, flowing roll ever and then something will happen to interrupt you. And no matter how hard you try to get that groove back once the distraction is over, you won't be able to. To write a story, any story, becomes a very personal journey. And that personal journey suddenly becomes extremely public when you hit the publish button.

I know that it seems like everyone and their mother f'n dog is writing a book these days. And they're hitting best seller lists and getting publishing deals, etc. And so I know that there are some of you who want to cash in on that. You think that it's a get rich quick scheme. I'll write a book and then i'll be rolling in the dough! If that's you, please do us all a favor and don't bother. I'm not kidding. Trust me when I tell you that writing and self publishing is NOT a shortcut to fame and fortune. If you want to get rich quick then play the lottery. There is nothing quick about self publishing. And more than likely, you will not get "rich" doing it. At least not right off the bat. You'll be lucky if you make enough money to cover your editor and cover designer.

I started writing because I had a story that wouldn't leave my head. As my time working for someone else neared its end, that story called to me louder and LOUDER. It was all I could think about until I started writing it. And at the time, I honestly thought I just had this one story to tell. And I used to joke around and say, "who the hell just writes ONE book??" But I wrote anyway- because it called to me. And once I started writing that book, it was like I opened this floodgate of creativity within me. Suddenly, I had a whole bunch of ideas for stories I wanted to write! And I feel blessed to have found something I truly enjoy doing. But I followed my heart (NOT dollar signs). And it's led me here.

I think the best advice that I can give to anyone considering writing a book is:
Don't write for the wrong reasons. You should want to write a book because you have a story, or an idea that won't let you go. You feel passionate about the story you want to tell. You're driven to write. Writing feels like a part of you...an extension of who you are.

And if that sounds like you, then I say go for it! Write that book! And good luck!

But if you're one of those people who wants to write for all the wrong reasons, I suggest you look elsewhere. People will see through your intentions.

Being an author is about trudging through the hard times. Writing when you don't think you can write anymore. Pushing through the roadblocks in your story because you're determined to find an outcome. And writing new stories when you've just finished your last one.

We don't write for the money. We write because we're passionate about the stories we tell and we want to connect with people through our words. We love what we do, even when it's frustrating, hard and tear inducing.

We don't write simply because we can.
We write because we simply can't imagine NOT writing.

:)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

the post where i show you my heart

kittens...

I love you. I really do. And I hope you know that everytime I tell you "thank you" or that "I appreciate you"... I really, really mean it.

I want to give you a little background on me so that you can hopefully get a better understanding of just HOW thankful I truly am.  :)

I got fired from my job about two and half years ago. It was funny because at the time I was so convinced that I'd be jobless for probably a whopping whole 2 weeks before someone else scooped me up and I was working my ass off again. And the thing was, at the time, I really needed a break. I can't even begin to talk about what went on in that work environment and what I had to deal with, but to say it was one of the most challenging experiences of my life would be a true understatement.

Anyway, I couldn't have been more wrong about my ability to find a new position with ease. Holy shit, i'd never been here before. I'd never been jobless. I'd never been tossed into an environment that was filled with so many under and over qualified people looking for work all at once. So I bought a laptop and starting writing almost immediately.  But I was still looking for work and applying to numerous jobs daily.

I could barely get an interview- and when I did, I ususally left there in tears because I had just come from a miserable work environment and the last thing I wanted was to be tossed into another one. I didn't want to do something I hated. I wanted to enjoy how and where I spent my days. Life is too short.
Nothing felt right anymore.
All the interviews- THE MERE THOUGHT of working for someone else- it didn't sit well in my guts. It's like I knew somewhere inside me that that wasn't what I was supposed to do anymore. It didn't feel right to work for someone else. It felt like I was taking a step backward when I was handed this gift to move myself forward.

But how do you explain that kind of "logic" to a family who needs your income? 

Thankfully I have a very supportive family.  :)

Not like it would have mattered- I honestly don't think I could have found a job if my life had literally depended on it.  It's HARD out there. It's crazy competitive and the people hiring like to make the decision for you before they've even given you a chance "I think you'll be bored in this position." "You're way too overqualified for this."  "Why would you want to do this job, when you've been doing this sort of job the last 10 years?"

Moving on... 
I couldn't get hired (obviously lol). And I released my first book (in dreams) not knowing really anything about this business. I just knew that I had a story I wanted to tell and no one was going to stop me from telling it. So I did. And then I wrote another. And i'm working my ass off to try to make a name for myself in the Indie/Self Published author world. And it's a lot freaking harder than it looks. There's A LOT of indie authors out there. And sometimes things seem so hit or miss- the moon lines up and the stars align just right for some people and not for others. And it's frustrating because i'm sitting there trying to sell books so i don't feel like such a worthless non-income-bringing-in loser (ahem), but nothing i'm doing is working- and my books are being ripped apart and people are hating them and the comments are freaking mean and they tell me I suck and write like a 12 year old and i'm sure i'm supposed to be offended, but I know some pretty cool 12 year olds out there, so whatever.

But of course that leads to the inevitable question of- am I supposed to be writing books at all?  And if i'm NOT supposed to be writing books, then just exactly what the hell am I supposed to be doing because NOTHING ELSE FEELS RIGHT

Sorry.

I'm calm now.  lol

So I'm writing books, but not really making any money. I'm looking for a job, but I can't freaking get one. 

And what happens next?

We lose our house.  After trying to refinance and get help with the mortgage (all of which the bank said no too)- we were in the middle of a short sale when the house went to auction. The bank didn't stop the auction and I went and watched it get sold to the highest bidder. We had to move a month later. (that was all this past may/june)

And really?  It's okay. I mean, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and i'm perfectly fine with how everything turned out- but that doesn't mean it was horrible and hurtful and really fucking sad to get to this point.  You know?

Holy crap, do I have a point?  Yes, I do.  My point is that if you fast foward to now... right in this moment... right this second... I want you to know that you've made a difference in my life because you're enjoying something that i've written. You're telling your friends and family to buy my book. You're recommending The Perfect Game to friends, strangers, neighbors, in coffee shop lines, on facebook, on twitter, etc.  You're CHANGING my life. 

I'll say it again.

YOU
ARE
CHANGING
MY
LIFE


Let it sink in. 

Please.

Just for a moment.

Or two.


Because I could never be where I am right now (an Amazon best seller, having made the USA Today and Barnes & Noble Best Seller list) without each and every one of you. And I would be lying if I didn't say that I wish this could last forever! Because honestly, I wish it would. :)

But as for now-  you've made my dreams come true. You've rewarded my hard work by believing in me, encouraging me, supporting me, and wanting MORE from me. For the first time since I started this crazy journey, I feel like a success. I feel like i'm doing something right. I feel like i'm right where i'm supposed to be.  And I AM SO THANKFUL for every one of you. Because I feel that way BECAUSE of you.

So, thank you... for every email, every facebook post and every tweet.  Thank you for everytime my book pops into your head to recommend to someone. Thank you for spreading the word about my little book that could. You believe in it, which means you believe in me. 

And that is more inspiring than I can ever put into words.

I appreciate you. 

xo

Friday, November 02, 2012

oh hi there old friend

I hate when it seems like I dust-appear (that's how my son used to say disappear. i've always liked it, so it stuck. lol).

But really, i'm here!  The thing is, I got super excited yesterday when a book idea felt like it literally HIT ME like a 10 ton brick to the back of the head. So excited that I ran to my computer and started typing out the first scene. Which turned into half a chapter. And then I couldn't sleep last night because the characters and the story were in my thoughts, my dreams, my mind.

This is what typically happens when i'm writing something I love. My mind won't rest. I don't have an off switch.

So if it seems like i've ditched you- I'm just in my cave trying to write something worthy of you reading.  Hang in there.  :)

I'm mailing off some Amazon gift cards today, so if you won, be on the lookout!  I still haven't heard from ALL the winners- so please email me your address ASAP so we don't forget! And by "we" I really just mean me.  I totally suck at remembering things and I am so freaking easily distracted.  Like right now, the cutest dog in the entire world is staring at me and he makes me forget about everything except how cute he is. Oooooh, maybe i'll write him into this book?!  Every girl needs a doggy!  lol

See?

I heard that people were having problems trying to find The Perfect Game on Barnes & Noble, and I will agree that when I went there the other day to search, it pulled up nothing. Put in my author name, it also pulled up nothing. But it seems to be working fine now. But just in case, here's the direct link for all you Nookers.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfect-game-j-sterling/1113324003?ean=2940015581737

Have I mentioned that we are freaking NUMBER THIRTEEN on Amazon's Top 100 Best Sellers?!?!?!!  That is SOOOOOOOO freaking cool!  I am so happy! So so happy that you guys read this book, fell in love with the characters and Jack & Cassie's story and then you told everyone you know to read it. It's something i'd always hoped would happen for one of my books-  and now it is. So, THANK YOU
Sincerely. 
I am so happy, appreciative and freaking excited for what this all means for my career!  You guys have made it possible for me to say that without cringing. This IS my career. I am an author. *knock on wood*

I'm terrified every single day that it will end just like that.  Welcome back fear, my old friend.

We'll talk about that more later.

But for now, keep on reading, loving, and telling your friends about the books you enjoy! And then all of us authors can keep writing them.  :) 

PS- let's not forget about our friends over in New York and New Jersey who are having a really rough time right now. Roads are impassible. Gas is hard to get too. The lines for gas are hours long. Power is still out in some places. Food is rotting, water is needed. If you can donate something, anything, here's a link to a list of places for donations like the Red Cross, the Humane Society, etc. We're thinking of you East Coast. And we love you. xo
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/hurricane-sandy--how-to-help.html


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FOUR free books for Halloween!

I freaking love halloween!  I do!  But this year, it hasn't felt like halloween time for me. Maybe because my brain feels like it's spinning constantly inside my head?! 

That's probably it.

I'm sure that's completely normal.  :)

Usually during the month of October I'm overwhelmed with feelings of magic and witchiness and spells and all sorts of halloween goodness (not to mention CANDY!!!!). I want my magic back! lol

So, in the spirit of halloween and books that are magical, filled with ghosts and mind readers, I want to share FOUR wonderful books with you that are all *FREE* right now on Amazon.

I've talked about them before, but I'm talking about them again. It's funny... they're all series (and lucky for you, if you get hooked after the 1st book, almost all the other books are out and so you don't have to wait!!!). 

The first one is called WANDER DUST - by Michelle Warren
As much as I enjoyed this book, the 2nd book is EVEN better! I cannot wait for her to finish writing the last book in this trilogy because I am dying to know what the hell is going on!
http://www.amazon.com/Wander-Seraphina-Parrish-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0063GW2WE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351615202&sr=1-1&keywords=wander+dust
What did I say about this book the first time I read it? "I've never read anything quite like this before and honestly, I think it would make an amazing movie. Think Harry Potter- new world, new kind of magic, great characters, great story..."

The next book is called RECKLESS MAGIC - by Rachel Higginson
I've read all four books in this series and I am seriously in love with all of them. I thought they were amazing and frustrating and so freaking good!
http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Magic-Star-Crossed-Series-ebook/dp/B004S7EUJ8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351615731&sr=1-1&keywords=reckless+magic
"This book was SO! FREAKING! GOOD!!! I loved the characters, the story, the mystery, the suspense, the reveals and all the questions i'm still left with. It was written richly and when I wasn't reading this story, I found myself thinking about it constantly."

Then we have THE MIND READERS - by Lori Brighton
I've only read this book of the series. The last 2 are out, I just haven't had the time to grab them and read them, but I really, really enjoyed this story!
http://www.amazon.com/The-Mind-Readers-ebook/dp/B004FN1P1Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351616028&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mind+readers
"This was really entertaining- with a lot of twists and turns that even if you DO see coming, are still enjoyable."

And last, but certainly not least, we have THE DEEPEST CUT - by J.A. Templeton
I read all 3 books in this haunting series. I am a HUGE fan of past lives and reincarnation, so these books struck an additional chord within me!  Loved them!
http://www.amazon.com/Deepest-MacKinnon-Curse-novel-ebook/dp/B0058HTU0G/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351616189&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+hdeepest+cut
"Overall, I really enjoyed this book and loved being brought into a new world with castles, history and characters who believed in the spirit world and the presence of ghosts!"

So there you have it! Four very different books that you can lose yourself in for Halloween!! I hope you enjoy them!  :) :) 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

thank you just doesn't seem like enough

I know I keep telling you "thank you" like every chance I get, but I wish you knew me in real life...

I wish you knew JUST HOW MUCH I SINCERELY MEAN IT.

How when I tell you thank you, my eyes glaze over, my chest and stomach tighten, my breath hitches... but most of all, I wish there was another flipping phrase other than "thank you" to express how truly appreciative I am for all of you.

I've told you before that The Perfect Game isn't my first book. And if you know anything about Self Published ("Indie") authors, you know that we work our asses off. It's one thing to actually sit down and write an entire book, but it's another thing to get people to not only read it, but like it enough to want to read more of what you write.

It's been a long road for me. At least it FEELS like it's been a long road. I put out my first book in August 2011 and ever since then i've spent countless hours online trying to reach an audience...my audience. I've researched other writer's blogs, newspaper articles on self publishing, articles on trends, what to do, how to reach people, how to market, i've joined groups, indie clubs filled with other authors trying to figure out the exact same thing... how do we get readers in this saturated market to FIND and READ our books?! And how do we do ALL OF THIS, while still writing our next book?!?!?

It's a lot of work.

And trust me, i'm not complaining.

Not one bit.

Because all of that hard work has brought me to where we are today. And I feel like it makes me even MORE thankful. I know what it's like to not experience what I'm experiencing right now. I know the other side of the coin. I've lived it.

Which is why I tell you so freaking obsessively how thankful I am for you. And when you tell me that my book touched your soul, your heart, your guts- I AM OVERWHELMED. And when you tell me that you're telling everyone you know that they have to read this book- I AM GRATEFUL. And when you tell me that you've written a review and posted about it on facebook, or tweeted about it- I AM APPRECIATIVE.

So I just wanted you all to know (again) that I don't take you for granted. I don't take this for granted. And I literally, physically and emotionally, appreciate you more than you can ever truly know. THANK YOU.

I'm gonna give away more shit soon- cause that's a good way to say thank you. Need some action behind my words, riiiight? :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

what i'm writing now!

So a bunch of you are just now finding me and my books... which is flipping AWESOME, don't get me wrong.

I LOVE IT!

I LOVE YOU!!!

I can't tell y'all that enough!!! :)

But before you found me, I'd already written two books. And one of those books is a YA series (in dreams)... it's not a cliffhanger type of series, it's just a series in the sense that the characters' story continues... or actually PREtinues. I know that's not a word. But basically, the second book in the series takes us to the past, in a past life where we experience the connection the characters have to each other and why we're drawn to particular people, or why we hate them for no reason, etc. Basically, it will make In Dreams a much stronger book once you have all their past to take into consideration.

So I really need to work on that story. I'd intended to release it this year, but at this point, there is no way that's going to happen. But I want to write it. I want to finish it. And in all honesty, I think i'll pick it up again tomorrow (it's half way done. eh, maybe a third).

And then I want to seriously think about writing a 2nd book in The Perfect Game. But I want it to make sense. I want it to be for the right reasons- and I want to feel PULLED toward the next story I want to tell for those characters.

Basically, I want to have a good story. And I don't want to rush it, or force it, or write something because everyone is demanding me too. I want to write it because my heart is demanding me too. Because Dean, Melissa, Jack & Cassie won't take no for an answer. lol I just want to do it justice.

But it has to make sense. And right now, I can barely think outside of the story I just wrote, so it's hard for me to think outside of the box creatively in continuing this story, or spinning it off. So just bear with me.

I promise that when that lightning idea for TPG 2 strikes me, you'll be the first to know!

Until then...keep reading books you love, and reviewing them, and telling people to read them. "Reading is dreaming with open eyes"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WOO HOO! WE DID IT!

Oh em, mother f'n gee y'all!!!!  We are currently in the Amazon Top 100!!!!!!!  Who knows how long we'll stay there? It could change in an hour and it will all be a distant memory, but as of right now... WE !!!  ARE!!!  THERE!!!

And so I wanted to tell you THANK YOU!  so much!!!

Thank you for writing those reviews on amazon and barnes & noble... for telling your friends they "must read" this book, for posting about it on facebook, for tweeting, for writing it on bathroom walls.  oops.  lol

Just thank you.  Sincerely.  Your good reviews, your excited word spreading, it's all I can ask for as an author.  :)

Now i have to go babysit my friend's kid for a few hours. My life is tres glamorous.  lol

ps- we WILL be having a dean carter discussion soon. and I want y'all back here for it!  :) 

Keep those reviews, posts and emails to me coming- I love hearing from you guys!  Every.single.one of you! 

hugs

xoxo
jenn

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Perfect Game is out now!

my third book- a baseball love story, is OUT NOW!!!!

you can find it on amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Game-ebook/dp/B009OMPKTG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1349978745&sr=8-4&keywords=the+perfect+game+j+sterling

or at barnes and noble here:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfect-game-j-sterling/1113324003?ean=2940015581737


i'm also doing a giveaway over on my author blog-  you have to enter through rafflecopter, so go there to see what it's all about

www.j-sterling.com


Monday, October 08, 2012

being a writer means

That we don't really take vacations. There are no weekends, no holidays, no days off... There is working overtime, working nights, long hours...

Because our brain is ALWAYS thinking of the next story to write, or what we're writing now, or what we could write better.

There is no off switch on a creative mind.

Hell, even when we're sleeping we're usually dreaming about our stories or our characters.

It's funny because we work so hard on our stories and it takes us months to write them, edit them, send them off to the editor, make the changes, format them, go through last minute additions, etc... and you would think that once we released our book that we'd sit back, breath a sigh of relief and ENJOY the moment.

But you know what most of us do?

Do you?

We fucking haul ass back to our computer and start working on the NEXT book.

Because we can't sit still.

Because we don't turn off.

Because we don't know how to relax and enjoy the moment.

And because if we don't start writing that next book, we feel like we're falling behind. Our books don't write themselves. Lord knows it would be much easier if they did. But they don't.

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I remember releasing my first book a little over a year ago and thinking, "I just need to get ANOTHER book out there. I need to have two!" And then I released my second book and thought, "I just need to have another. I need to have a library of books for people to choose from!"

It's never enough.

I definitely don't write fast enough.

Some days I feel like I don't write good enough (that's for damn sure).

So basically, being a writer means that you're a crazy person. LOL A crazy person who doesn't know how to stop, slow down, breathe, relax, enjoy, chill the f out, etc.

I constantly WANT to be writing. I love the process of creating- even when it's stressful, painful, sleep depriving and anything but relaxing. When i'm not writing I feel like i'm not progressing. I feel like i'm being lazy. Like I spent the whole day at work, not working.

So yeah. That's what being a writer means to ME. I really hope i'm not the only one. lol

Friday, October 05, 2012

CHICAGO!

Holy balls, Chicago was in the future... then it was ALMOST HERE... then it was here... and now it's gone.

*insert ugly cry*

























C-H-I-C-A-G-O

I loved ya.

For real.

I don't know where to start.
I don't know where to end.
I don't know how to attempt to "sum" up or "cliff note" the epicness that was the TFEIC  (thank you mollie harper for the website of awesomeness)!!!!!

I assume, I could start off thanking people. Like my incredible author soulmate, Colleen Hoover, whom without, we would have never had this event! It started out silly, then turned into something more real, then exploded like one of tara's vagina hands (or something like that). But really, thank you Colleen for hosting this incredible, incredible event. And thank you SARAH WHORE HANSEN!!!!!, Melissa Brown and in the beginning stages, Fred LeBaron for busting ass to put it all together, make it seamless (at least for us authors), and organize the hell out of this chaos! 

It was so worth it!

Thank you to everyone who had to take off work, leave your children in the hands of your husbands (lord help us all), travelled alone for the first time, saved your dollars to attend, saved your dollars to buy books, and everything else you had to do just to come meet some Indie (or ex-indie) authors. 

It is because of YOU readers that we are changing the landscape of the reading world. I know it wasn't easy to get there for some of you, but I hope it exceeded even your wildest expectations. 

My expectations are always low, so it blew the hell out of mine. HAHA But really, I didn't know what to expect- or what to plan for-  but it was amazing!

I had the best time meeting my fellow authors, meeting my readers, meeting people who weren't my readers, hanging out, molesting guys with weird pockets in their pants in elevators, grabbing fred's booty, long walks on the beach with becca, slumber party in everyone's pants with kellan kyle, making blow up dolls do inappropriate things to each other on sc stephens bed (appropriate, no?), dancing my ass off until my jeans ripped, cat calling professional ping pong players cause those really exist!!!, eating goat with some fellow goat lovers, realizing that every american who attempts to do their best jenny aussie voice will almost always sound british, finding my long lost little sister amanda, MEETING CHRIS PINE!!!!!!!... TWICE!!!!  lol, finding love in the hotel starbucks, harassing the local crew on their lunch break (poor guys), PHOTO SHOOT IN BLOOMINGDALE'S!!!! (not weird at all), holding mm's hand in the bar- for the love of god woman, do not let go of my hand! lol, trying to hail a cab on a clearly cabless friday night until you say fuck it and start walking..until you say fuck it again, and steal a cab, hanging out in a bar that calls itself a hotel, getting mini vibrator's as gifts, pretending that only dead people need sleep so you simply NEVER.DO.IT. 

You guys. Sincerely. I had so much fun with all of you. It wasn't enough time. There were people I never even got to see. There were people I only saw for a moment. I wanted more. I wanted to be able to hang out so much more... It's hard to organize chaos.

Words cannot express how much I love and appreciate every single one of you. I hope that everyone who attended and stayed had as much fun as I did. Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Everything.

Until we meet again!

xoxooxxoxo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

things that inspire

i LIVE to be inspired. by anything. by everything.  beautiful pictures, people, scenery, words... 

as a writer, i'm surrounded by sound lyrics and other people's writing that resonates somewhere deep within me. it's a beautiful experience when that happens. i love words that don't suck.  :)

anyway- when i read something that makes me want to jump on top of my couch and scream YES YES YES this is SO me!  i print it out as fast as i can and pin it to my dream/wish board! 

you know the one... (it's changed since i took this pic- dramatically, but you get the point)




































i just wanted to share my latest additions with you!  :) 












































GOD I LOVE BEING & FEELING INSPIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! two thumbs up for inspiration and a full heart and a soaring soul! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lots of Pretty Pictures!

i know i've been MIA... but i've been busy!!  it's a good thing, so don't be sad.  :)  my next book, The Perfect Game will be out on OCTOBER 12th and i couldn't be more excited about it!  this book is different from the other two in the sense that it's more mature- there is sex in the book... foul language... lol... 

so while my book is at the editor, i got to shoot one of my most favorite seniors ever for her senior pics. (side note, that's her fantastic booty and legs on my Chance Encounters cover)...



























and then literally right after taking those photos, i headed out to half moon bay for a super
fun wedding!  it was so pretty and so much fun.  congrats you two- FINALLY!  :)




























and thennnnnnnnnnnnnnn, we had the end of the year party for blake's travel baseball team! it was a busy weekend. i'm tired. lol love these families and their kids! i will miss seeing them on a regular basis.




 


 



























so yeah.. that's it. no big. just been a little busy!  but see! there i am!  alive!  happy!  and awesome!  :)  hope you're doing the same. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

happy birthday Leah

I have to repost this every year. because every year around this time i'm sick to my stomach. my heart still fucking aches. my eyes still water. i can't stand how horrifying this day was. i'll never ever forget how it felt. and i didn't lose someone i loved that day.

last year when i posted this, i was blessed to have Leah's dad Walter stop by the blog and comment on it. *waves hi to walter*  Walter, your comment touched me. the fact that you found this blog about your daughter and took the time to talk to me, a stranger,... i can't tell you how much it meant to me.  thank you for having the strength.

he also alerted me to a couple newer articles about leah. they're quite beautiful, so i'm sharing them here.
http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime_courts/129434033_Oliver_was_full_of_life__devoted_to_her_family.html?page=all

http://www.baristanet.com/2010/09/reflecting-on-911-in-2010/

Happy Birthday Leah. i wish you were still here to celebrate, my birthday twin. xo  and Walter, if you find this blog again this year-  give yourself a hug from me. A big one.


THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 9/11/2009...


when i first participated in dc roe's 2996 challenge, i got to learn about a brave firefighter named sal calabro. it was truly my pleasure to honor him, get to know him, and write about him. i was grateful for the project because it introduced me to someone i wouldn't have known otherwise. on that day when so many of our lives were changed forever, he was a hero. and he paid the ultimate price. i can't believe his family has had to live these past 8 years without him. it breaks my heart.

when dc sent out the email that he was doing the project again, i signed up without hesitation. and this time, i got Leah E. Oliver.

the first thing i noticed about leah was that we shared the same birthday. september 12th... the day after "the day." i stopped for a moment before i read any further about her to just kind of appreciate the randomness (and not so randomness) of it all. what was the likelihood that the person i would get to write about would share the same birthday as me?

the more i read about leah, the more i found myself smiling and thinking that we would have totally been friends. everyone said the same things about her. how warm she was... her amazing smile.. she made everyone feel welcome.. she was always positive and smiling and happy. everyone who knew her talked about how much they loved her and her laugh. what a great way to be remembered.... always happy. i can only hope to be so lucky.

Leah Oliver

i don't think you'd guess by this gorgeous picture of her, but she loved to go on motorcycle rides with her dad. a passion that they shared with one another. there is a memorial page up for leah where her father has written the sweetest most heartbreaking letter to his only daughter. the following is part of what he wrote:


"Life is about not knowing. Surely the last few weeks have proved that to all of us. But bringing Leah into this world is one thing I know for certain I’ve done absolutely right in my life. I love all my children equally, and I’m equally proud of each of them. Leah was just that little bit special because she was my first. As oldest children often do, Leah marched through life with a sense of purpose, determined to be successful. And she exceeded my expectations all along the way."


leah grew up in dartmouth, massachusetts and went to college at columbia university. it seems like leah's life was just getting started. she had a new boyfriend (in an old friend) and had recently started working at marsh & mclennan in the world trade center. she couldn't wait to show her mom the view from the 96th floor. the 96th floor. i guess you can only imagine how and why she didn't make it out that day. she loved her co-workers and felt like she had the job of her dreams. things were falling into place for this 24 year old.

24.

never to turn 25 because the following day would not come for her.

she left behind so many family members who miss her. a boyfriend who has had to move on without her when he thought he was going to spend the rest of his life with her. it's hard for me to write about someone who was so young and whose life was just getting started. because you read about the person they were and you want so much more for them. you know how much they could have had and then you get angry that all of that was taken away. imagine how i'd feel if i had the pleasure to actually know leah in real life??

september 11th still hurts. sometimes i think i'm ready to deal with certain aspects of it. like a tv special about 9/11 will be on and i'll record it so that i can watch it later at my own pace. but then i'll go to turn it on, and within the first 30 seconds, i'm already in tears and i can't take it. i'm not ready. it's still too raw. and it's been 8 years. and i didn't even know anyone who lost their life that day personally. (i know people who knew people) it wasn't right. it wasn't fair. and it breaks my heart to know how much my life has changed since that day, and i wasn't even directly affected. so many other people have had to live each day since without their loved ones in their life. and all i can say is that i'm sorry. i'm so sorry that sal's boys have had to grow up with only a memory for a father. i'm so sorry that leah's family has to go on without her. i'm sorry she never got to have her 25th birthday. but i can promise you that i will forever think of her on our day from here on out.

there is a scholarship set up in her name.. there are tributes to her where you can read more about her. i wish i could have known her.. but i'm glad this project introduced me to her. and now to you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

the perfect game COVER!

Did you see the big reveal on all the blogs and facebook this morning for The Perfect Game?!

Tell me how much you LOVE this freaking cover!!!!!!! 



 

 
Isn't it AMAZING?!?!?!!  I am in love with it! I can't wait to release it!  The book will be out in early October.....  it's not finished yet, but soon. *knocks on wood*
 
And for those of you who like to buy the paperback copies... look at the full cover!  it's even better when you see the WHOLE thing!!!!
 
*swoon*
 

 
 
 
i'm going to go have a heartattack of epic porportions now. I can't take the gorgeousness!  CAN'T! TAKE! IT!
 
 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

wow!!!

well the downloads yesterday were a HUGE success!  i had over 15,000 downloads of Chance Encounters in a 24 hour period. That included ALL five of Amazon's sites in varying countries!  Pretty exciting stuff!

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word.  Thanks to everyone who enjoys my books and tells people to read them. I appreciate it so much.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

chance encounters FREE today only!

I went crazy apparently and made Chance Encounters FREE for one day!  It's something I said I wouldn't do- don't ask why. Maybe it's because i've made In Dreams so many times, I was hoping I wouldn't need to do it with Chance.

But the truth is... lots of people still don't know who I am. And i'm going to Chicago with a bunch of super amazeball other authors-  and in the spirit of that book signing, I thought I'd give CE away one day for FREE so anyone who wanted to get to know me and my writing style-  COULD.  And for those people who might not have ever found or heard of me before, might get the chance to do just that.

So it's FREE. But for today only! 

So go get your copy!  Tell your friends! Post it on twitter, facebook, google +, the bathroom wall at your work.  Email your friends and family who read and you think might enjoy this pretend adult book written in typical jennster young adult fashion.  :) 

And thanks.  From the bottom of my butt (it's way bigger than my heart). 

US:
http://www.amazon.com/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1345039056&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=chance+encounte

UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345051026&sr=8-1

SPAIN:
http://www.amazon.es/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/ref=sr_1_8?s=foreign-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345051866&sr=1-8

ITALY:
http://www.amazon.it/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1345051901&sr=8-14

DE:
http://www.amazon.de/Chance-Encounters-ebook/dp/B007V6IGCA/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345051946&sr=8-1-spell

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

chicago bloggers wanted!

is coming up at the end of september! the list of authors is UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!!!!!! and i'll be there too! don't ask how. LOL


so bloggers, if you're coming-  if you're local-  if you wanna show up-  there's a special time slot just for you with everyone!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

i went to colorado...

And all i got was...


altitude sickness.


HA! 

Seriously though- why didn't any of  y'all warn me that ALTITUDE SICKNESS could happen!??!  So weird.  It sucked. I felt "off" for like 4 freaking days. FOUR DAYS! blah.

BUT, let me tell you- Steamboat Springs is where the crazy Olympic ski people practice their jumps. It was IN-FLIPPING-SANE watching them do this!!!! 

So this is the jump thing. I wish you could tell how TALL and HIGH on the mountainside it was. But you can't. Anyway... not only did the guys have to try to kill themselves on this insane jump thing- once they were at the bottom they had to CLIMB A MILLION STAIRS WITH THEIR SKIES IN THEIR ARMS to do it all over again!!!!!!

Really people, can't you install a escalator to the top or something?!?!!?  Good lord. All I kept thinking when they walked up the stairs was how I would flipping DIE if I had to do that. 

See?!?!? Stairs of death. Plus, they were so hot walking up the stairs of death, they had to fold down their weird unitard thingies. So basically, a bunch of guys walked up a billions stairs topless and I took their pics. Yep. Not creepy. At all.  lol




So once the crazy boys are at the top, they have to put their clothes back on and attach their skis!




































Holy shit, now that they are FINALLY up there and all reclothed, they can do what they came to do! FLY DOWN THAT CRAZY THING!!!!!

Crazy right?
Right.

I don't think i'll ever get over the stairs.  THE STAIRS!

dedication. That's the one word that comes to mind. or INSANE. 

:)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

today we say goodbye to our doggy

comaface

when we moved into our new place, we noticed our dog, Tacoma's mouth was filled with blood. we had no idea what was happening until we noticed some huge sore like thing in her mouth. we thought it was just something weird and it would go away.

and we thought it did.  but a few days later, we noticed this big lump like thing on her bottom jaw.

i took her to the vet and he told me that it was a tumor and needed to be removed to find out if it was cancerous or not.

i was shocked. it never even crossed my mind that the thing could be a tumor. i don't know what i thought it was, i just never thought something like that.
so we had the surgery done and the tumor removed. the vet let me know that he thought it was cancer because the tumor had "roots." he told me to keep an eye on her jaw and hopefully it would take months before it grew back and then we'd remove it again.
we hoped for the best.

hoped that the tumor wouldn't grow back anytime soon.

but less than two weeks later, it had reappeared.  and it was larger than the last time.
and everyday since it's reappearance, it's grown in size. we had to make a tough decision. because at the time tacoma was still eating normally and still jumping and running around, wagging her tail.  it's SO freaking hard to decide whether or not to put your dog down when she's acting completely normal!!!!  you know? 

but realizing that the tumor was continuing to grow- and that she was drooling icky puss/blood stuff constantly, bleeding more frequently, the tumor smelled rancid, not to mention the fact that we're going out of town and were really nervous about leaving her in pet care in her situation.... we decided it was best to put her down.  we would hate to be out of town when something happened to her. could you imagine?

since our  decision, she has gone downhill. she is definitely uncomfortable, doesn't feel well and thankfully, she is basically letting us know that we've made the right decision.  and in the right time.

but let me tell you, if you have to put your dog down, waiting any longer than 1 day for your appointment is pure hell. we've known since monday that we were putting her down today. it's been a fucking countdown the entire time.  it's been torturous!  to live knowing "this is the last this" or "this is the last that"....  HORRIBLE. 

it was an awful night last night in our house, and it's going to be an awful evening tonight. it's never easy to lose a friend. and i'm going to miss her so much.  she was a pain in the ass, but she was my pain in the ass.

we love you butts. we'll miss you.  <3
  coma

Monday, July 16, 2012

meet & greet in Chicago y'all!

Y'all, have you heard about this amazing meet & greet at the END OF SEPTEMBER in Chicago?!?!?

Here are all the details- and you have plenty of time to save! :) Hope to see you there!

http://www.facebook.com/jennnster#!/events/398385536885550/

The Palmer Hilton House in Chicago


Saturday, September 29, 2012


12:00pm until 4:00pm in CDT


  • Come and meet some extremely talented authors such as:

    Colleen Hoover, bestselling author of Slammed and Point of Retreat
    S. C. Stephens, author of Thoughtless & Effortless
    Tarryn Fisher, author of The Opportunist
    ...
    Abbi Glines, author of Ceaseless, While it Lasts & The Vincent Boys
    Stephanie Campbell, author of Grounding Quinn & Delicate
    Rebecca Donovan, author of Reason to Breathe & Barely Breathing
    Jillian Dodd, author of That Boy & That Wedding
    J. Sterling, author of "Chance Enounters" and "In Dreams"
    Michelle Mankin, author of Love Evolution
    and more!!!
    Most authors will be bringing copies of their books so you can purchase a signed copy...or 2 or 3 or 4! :)
  • Thursday, June 28, 2012

    so you wanna self publish eh?

    First of all, let me say to you... GOOD! AWESOME! EXCITING!!!!!

    I'm excited when anyone tells me that they've always had a dream to do something and they are taking the steps to actually FOLLOW.THAT.DREAM. :)

    If you've always wanted to write- there is no better time than now to do it! We don't need agents. We don't need publishers. We just need the internet and we can publish our own books!!! So freaking cool. And there is enough room out there for all of us. There are tons of readers with all different styles, tastes, preferences, etc- it's not a competition... because there is nothing to compete over. It's not like someone reads one and only one book for the rest of their life. Right? Right.

    So you want to self publish and you're totally overwhelmed because you're like... NOW WHAT? I'll tell you all the questions I get fairly often, and then i'll answer them the best I can- and with my experience only. :) Ready? Course you are.

    Did you make paperbacks of your books, or only E-books? What should I do?
    I did both formats. Mostly because I didn't have an e-reader (kindle, nook, ipad) yet and I was personally still reading paperbacks. And because I wanted a physical copy of my book. There was no way I was writing a book and not having it on my bookshelf!

    I use Createspace for my paperbacks. I researched a lot of other sites and createspace was my favorite. They are super easy to use. They have templates for all your formatting needs in whatever book size you choose. And they let you order as many or as few copies of your books as you want. Their cost is reasonable and they have distribution through their own online stores, amazon, barnes & noble, libraries, etc. My only gripe with them is the cost and time of shiping. But otherwise, my books always come looking beautiful and i've been very happy with them. :)

    You should do whatever you want! I mean, you should 100% make an e-book, but whether or not you want to offer paperbacks is up to you. I will say that the only people who buy my paperbacks are my friends and family. But it is super nice to have physical copies to give away to readers, or to send to people who have loved your book and been super awesome. :)

    Is it hard to format everything? How do I do it?
    It is not hard to format everything. It's a pain in the ass, but it's not hard. It's time consuming, but it's not hard. It will make you want to throw your head into a brick wall sometimes, but it's not hard. Each site requires a different way of formatting. You have to check with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc for their requirements. Or you can go to Smashwords and if you are graced by the smashwords gods and you actually format your ebook properly, they will distribute to ALL the internet book selling sites for you. I love smashwords, but it's formatting drives people to jump off bridges.

    My suggestion? Format for amazon and b&n and call it a day. Or if you only have the patience for one formatting site? Simply choose Amazon.

    Will you read my book and give me feedback?
    I read a lot. I read my a ton of Indie author's books. Why? Because I love them. Because I love supporting them and reading good stories written by awesome people. And when I'm not reading someone else's book, I'm writing my own. And being a mom. I simply don't have the time to read your book. But you should find some beta readers- ask your friends, your family, tweet asking people- and ask them for feedback on your story. You should always have people read your story before you put it out there. And you should definitely have it edited.

    I don't have any money to pay for things like an editor. It's so expensive. Do I have to?
    Trust me, I've been there. I have SO.FREAKING.BEEN.THERE. But listen to me- if there are two things you pay attention to in regards to your book (aside from writing a good one), it's the EDITING and the COVER. I know you don't have the money to thousands of dollars for an editor. No one does when they're first starting out. But there are editors out there who don't cost an arm and a leg. And I promise you...you want to have your book professionally edited. Not edited by a friend who's really good with word! Or a friend who likes to read. Someone you can count on to follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Someone who knows what they're doing.

    I released In Dreams without it being professionally edited and I got ripped into shreds. My heart felt like it was ripped from my chest, stomped on, tore into a million pieces and then tossed into the garbage. And I sat there, struggling to breathe while it all happened.

    Not to mention the fact that until I rewrote the whole thing AND had it professionally edited (twice), I couldn't sleep and I couldn't feel satisfied with the story. It haunted me.

    Don't let your book haunt you. Cause trust me, it will. Reasearch editors. Ask other Self Published authors who they use. You can get information to my editor on my FAQ page- she's awesome and more than reasonably priced.

    I don't know how to design a book cover. I suck at photoshop. What do I do?
    The cover is the other important factor to your book. I wrote a crazy blog post here that you need to read because I can't even begin to tell you how important the cover is. You can go to sites like Dreamstime or istock photo and buy pictures to use on your cover. My only suggestion if you do that is to RESEARCH FIRST. Make sure someone else in the same category as your book, isn't using the same photo. There's nothing worse than seeing "your" cover on someone else's book.

    I have a designer who does my covers. You can research, ask around, google to find people who are willing to design your covers inexpensively. It can be done, you just have to look around to find it. :) Don't underestimate the power of a great cover!

    How do you market your book? How do you get it to sell? I want to be a best seller overnight!
    Awww, that's cute. But not very realistic. lol We all want our books to sell well. We all want readers to connect with our story. But reading is very subjective and people's opinions tend to vary... vastly. There is NO magic formula to what sells and what doesn't. What worked for one author, might not work for another one. What worked 3 months ago, most likely won't work anymore today. We all have different target audiences. What works for a guy writing sci-fi, won't work for a woman writing chick-lit. Know what I mean?

    It's a huge hit and miss project. It's all about finding what DOES work for YOU and YOUR audience. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell works for me. I'm still trying to find actual teenagers online. But honestly, it's a ton of work trying to do it on your own. Social networking is the BIGGEST and most time consuming part of your day. But you have to do it. It's how you connect with people... other authors, fans, readers, etc.

    My helpful suggestions for you are:

    Build a website/blog. This doesn't have to cost you any money. You can build a website through Blogger or Wordpress. Blogger is awesome and super easy to navigate and build. They have tons of professional and pretty looking templates that you can choose from. You can make pages for different information, etc.

    Set up a facebook fan page for your author name, or your books. I chose my author name because I didn't want to set up a seperate page for each book I wrote. Other authors do a page for each book. I don't know how they keep up with it.

    Set up a twitter account. You can easily link your facebook to your twitter so everytime you update one, it updates the other. I have a twitter, but i'm SUPER bad at using it. Actually, I suck at using it. I'm probably the worst. I should win an award for suckiest twitter-er.

    Read JA Konrath's blog. Why? Because he posts about every.single.thing. you'd ever want to know about self publishing. He's really open and honest and forthcoming about his sales numbers, what he thinks works, what doesn't, etc. He's a super resource for anyone just starting out. Prepare to lose hours in your day reading that site. Search his archives. Have fun. lol

    You can (and probably should) join Goodreads. Many authors have had fantastic experiences there as those readers can truly MAKE your book (talk about a word of mouth frenzy). But the flip side is, it can be a truly brutal website. So put on your thick skin and your big girl panties and go log in. There are tons of groups available with people willing to read and review your book on goodreads, you just have to find them.

    You should definitely research book bloggers. But only reach out to the ones you think would really like your story. Don't waste their time (and yours) by asking someone who doesn't read YA, or self published books, to make an exception and read yours. It's rude. And will most likely land you on their "never read" list.

    Please remember that when you ask someone to read your book (book blogger, beta reader, etc) that you make sure they are willing to leave a review as well. Amazon reviews are a HUGE help to any author, so you want to get as many of those as you can. :)

    Make friends with other authors. Self published authors are some of the coolest and most helpful people I know. I've made friends with many after I read their books, fell in love with their stories and HAD to know them! I've been really fortunate to become friends with some of the most talented writers out there. :) Read Indie books. Friend the authors of stories you like. Get to know them. Get to know your readers. Join author groups. Join reader groups. Connect.

    And my #1, biggest suggestion for you?
    Write a good book.
    Word of mouth will be your biggest and most influential friend. There is nothing that you could ever do, that could compete or compare with what other people can do for you. Word of mouth. It's the thing we all strive more. It's what makes us.

    Good luck! I'll add to this as needed. :)

    Tuesday, June 05, 2012

    the house

    our house.

    our OLD house.

    the house we no longer own.

    it's no longer ours.

    we no longer live there.

    i honestly haven't allowed myself to sit and process the events of the past year in regards to the house. i think i might have a breakdown at some point.  because really....

    it is all

    so.
    fucking.
    sad.

    we owned a home.  our first home.  i got fired.  we lost our home.  our first home.

    and it has been an AWFUL experience.  a horribly, awful, experience.

    i have a lot to say about the people who bought our house in the auction. 

    the real estate agents who bought our house in the auction.

    A LOT to say.

    and now that we're officially out of our home, i will be saying them. 

    but not right now. 

    right now, my toe hurts.  my feet are pained.  my fingers cramped and fingertips bruised.

    and i'm tired. 

    but i'm REALLY, REALLY, REALLY happy.

    our new rental is SUPER cute- very light, airy and pretty.  and everything i've decorated so far looks a bajillion times prettier here than it ever did in the house we owned. 

    have i mentioned how truly kind and wonderful our landlords are? 

    blessed.

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    somebody that i used to know

    no. i'm still NOT sick of this song.  i love it.

    and all of these things are rad.. not that you'll watch all of them, cause maybe you can't listen to the song a hundred times in a row. lol

    2 cute kids lip synching... the girl makes me laugh. she looks so sour all the time. lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNtoq6SJ3_A&list=UULuUNZZ-bUIMNm9VdrFG46Q&index=5&feature=plcp

    walk off the earth's amazing rendition! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M

    this wouldn't be complete without adding GLEE's version! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cay2dnuhcs


    AND LET'S END IT ON PARODY!!!!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwPHy17Iu6E

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    talk about leaving y'all hanging

    so... in regards to the house.

    we've lost it.

    it's official.

    the auction is legal and we did not have a course of action.  i did speak to a real estate attorney, but our goal was NOT to keep the house.  i mean, we had resigned to losing it in the first place-  so the reality was... what were we fighting for?  that Bank of America sucks huge donkey balls and they are negligent and horrible people?!  sure.  but how do you put a financial $$$ price on that? 

    how do you put a financial price on your credit score dropping from what would be a short sale to a foreclosure?

    basically, the guy said it wouldn't be worth it. it would probably cost us more money and time to fight this- than what we were fighting for.  it would be one thing if we were fighting their negiligence to keep the house and we had lost it.

    but we weren't.

    so there is nothing we can really do.

    was bofa in the wrong?  absolutely.  is the company completely screwed up?  yes.  did they give conflicting information?  yes.  did they NOT do something they said they were going to do?  yes.

    so now we move on.

    we've found ONE place (literally) that would allow us to take the dogs, so we're desperately hoping to sign a lease on it tomorrow.  it's been more than stressful the last couple of weeks.

    my advice to you if you are going through this?  make sure you know 100% that your short sale specialist IS putting the postponment through for your auction date.  make sure your realtor gives you ACCURATE information in a timely manner.  and make sure you have a contact at the bank to talk to. 

    it's been horrible.

    but i'm so fucking over it.

    i cannot wait for this chapter to FINALLY be closed so i can move the fuck on already.  i'm so sick of this limbo, crappy real estate, horrible bank, bullshit.

    i can't wait to move.  i wish it was so cal, but that's another post.

    but really, i can't wait to get out of this house!  :)