Thursday, March 29, 2012

Update your old In Dreams now!

So... I think it only took like 2 months for amazon to finally get it together and update In Dreams to everyone who already bought it.

At least that's what they tell me. So really, it may all be a big ole lie. LOL

To update to the newest version (new cover & edits), you just go into your "manage my kindle" on amazon and they said you should have the option to update the book?

I'm really not sure because I don't have the option... but then again, I already have the newest version. So...

I'm heading down to So Cal for the weekend to finish shooting the rest of Chance Encounters cover and shoot 2 other covers for a fabulous author I love! Can't wait to see the results of all 3 books!

:) Have a great weekend everyone! And download that new version already. The old one is a mess. lol you're welcome.

xo

Friday, March 23, 2012

hunger games!!!!

woot woot!

First thing you need to understand is that i'm pretty critical when it comes to movies. Sometimes. Nah, most of the time. Having worked in the entertainment industry for FOREVER- I don't know, I guess i'm impressed with the things most people don't notice, or unimpressed with the things that people tend to love. lol

Everytime I saw the Hunger Games trailer, I was so. freaking. excited! I actually thought to myself, "omg, the movie might actually be better than the book!" And I really did think that. Because the trailer looked SO EXCITING! And EVENTFUL! And awesome!!!!!

But in all honesty... I thought it was really s l o w.

Listen, I know how hard it is to adapt a book to the big screen and still make sure that people who didn't read the book understand the movie. And those who did read the book, still enjoy it. I also know that there is no possible way to put every single aspect of any book into a movie because it just doesn't work that way. We can't always translate the things we write onto paper into movie form.

With that said- I just thought that the whole time until we got to the Games themselves was rather uneventful. Don't get me wrong- the beginning was fantastic, with fantastic acting (great casting by the way), great costume design and incredible set design.

Basically, I found myself waiting (LONGING) for the games to start so I could finally have some action. Because I remember feeling like that book had a lot of action- a lot of intensity- a lot of stuff going on... but once the games started... I don't know... it just lacked.

The intensity wasn't there. It would get intense for brief moments and then cut away completely and allow us to catch our breath and relax. Too much so, for my taste. I felt like that Games in the book was pretty scary almost the whole time, you know?

And I had completely forgotten that the freaky beast creatures were the dead tributes- and they didn't put that in at all. I mean, the freaky beast creatures were in there, but not the eyes, not the reference to WHO they were supposed to be. That definitely should have been in there somehow.

Overall- all the movie did for me- was reinforce the fact that the book is SO! MUCH! BETTER (and I wasn't even crazy, head over heels in love with the book)! But the book is developed really well... with characters you root for and against... with scenes you can envision and picture in your mind... with intensity and emotions that sometimes only well written words can do.

:)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

amazon & paperback books

I had my superstar cover designer (www.MichellePreast.com) update my paperback, so I could make them available for people. Plus, I REALLY wanted one of my books looking THAT gorgeous! :)

Look how pretty!
my NEW! paperback cover!

I also think i'm going to stop offering the signed copies of paperback books and solely sell my them on Amazon & Createspace. It will just be a lot of easier for me- and for you. It's sort of a pain to deal with the payments (sometimes I get notified via email that someone has bought a book, sometimes I don't), and the post office (it's crazy far and always crazy busy) and the amount of time it takes to do it all. It basically keeps me running from one end of this town to the other and all the time i'm spending doing that means i'm not writing. And I feel like I have such a limited amount of time during the day to write as it is.

So i'll be updating my website soon to reflect the changes. A quick note too, just so you guys know- selling my paperbacks on Amazon means i'm making pretty much nothing on each sale. I apologize in advance for the "higher" price, but it's the only way I can even make a couple of bucks on each book (IF that, literally). Traditionally, self published authors have to have higher paperback prices in order to turn ANY sort of profit. We have to pay for the book by size, type of paper, type/style of cover, a certain cost per page, and I think that's it. But it all adds up to a base price that's already sort of high. And if I want to actually MAKE A LIVING being a writer, I have to attempt to make money. Otherwise i'm pretty much paying y'all to read my books. lol

So... that's why my paperback prices are what they are.

Thank you in advance to anyone who buys ANY of my books, in any format- and then tells all their friends since birth to buy them too. I sincerely appreciate it. I know I say that all the time, but it's the truth and I don't want you to forget. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I interviewed Lori Brighton and I liked it

After reading "The Mind Readers"... ***WHICH BY THE WAY IS FREE TODAY ON AMAZON !!!***
I'LL WAIT WHILE YOU GO AND DOWNLOAD A COPY RIGHT! THIS! INSTANT!
You're welcome.















I contacted stalked Lori, the author, until I forced her into becoming my friend! I told her how much I loved her book and then I interviewed her because i'm clearly normal obsessed. I get excited as an "indie" author when I read books that I really enjoy and then when i find out that the author is super awesome, helpful, friendly and kick ass? Well that just makes me even happier (like that's even possible)!

Below is our interview of awesomeness!! :)

“The Mind Readers" is your first Young Adult book, after many successful books written for adults. What made you decide to start writing for a younger audience?
Some of my favorite books growing up (and even still now) were for young adults. Anne of Green Gables was one of my first loves. I also really enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia. When I first started writing, it was never my intention to write just one genre. I love so many that I could never pick just one. And there’s something very sweet and promising about writing YA. The characters are young enough that they still have the whole world at their feet, yet it’s also usually a time in a person’s life when they really start to understand the complexities of world. So YA books can be very emotional reads, even more so than adult books.


I absolutely LOVED this book and felt like the main character Cameron was completely relatable. Were your intentions for writing her to make as normal of a teenager as possible? Talk a little about what/how you wanted readers to feel about her.
Definitely. I like to write characters who grow in a book, yet are also somewhat normal. Some readers don’t like that. They want a character who can kick ass from the get go, but I like to make it a little more realistic and let the reader see my characters grow.>/span>


I've read mixed reviews in regards to the way readers have felt about Lewis. Personally, I really liked him. I loved his and Cameron's relationship. Can you talk a little about Lewis and I HAVE TO KNOW, will he bein the second book (please say yes, please say yes)? :)
I’ll be totally honest with you, it was never my intention to make any character purely evil. In real life there are few people I would consider purely evil. The point was to show the truth… what one person thinks is right(or good) another person might find horrible (or evil). Some readers have gotten this, and it’s so awesome when I read a review and see that a reader totally understood what I was trying to do.

Lewis has been brainwashed since he was young. He’s been brought up a certain way and told certain things and to him (and through his experiences), they’re totally true. I know some people don’t like him, but it’s who he is. That doesn’t mean he won’t change. So yes, he will be in book two, although it won’t be until the last 1/3 of the book.



I really enjoyed the idea of being able to read minds- did anything specific influence that concept? Can you read minds? lol
Well, I can’t really tell you if I can read minds because then the government might abduct me and do experiments, but between you and me, yes, I can read minds.

lol. No, I can’t, and to be honest that’s probably a good thing. The idea came about from two things. One, there was a Buffy the Vampire (best show ever!!!!) episode in which Buffy could read minds. But also, one day I thought about how I wished I knew what someone was thinking. But of course then I realized maybe I didn’t really want to know.

This is one of my favorite lines in The Mind Readers:

Okay, so maybe my opinion of Trevor was influenced by the fact that he thought my breasts were too small for his liking. Although I’m happy to report he’d still “do me,” as he’d thought the other day.

I love it because it shows you exactly what would happen if you could read minds… you’d know every horrible thing a person thought about you and others. So yeah, not so sure I’d want to be able to read minds
.


What can you tell us about the second book? Anything you can spill, you know, like WILL LEWIS BE THERE?

Yes, as mentioned, Lewis will be in the last 1/3, but just to warn you… he dies. Joking! lol.
To be honest, there’s an evil part of me that wants to do that, write a book and kill
off everyone at the end just to piss people off. lol. See, there is some evil in the world. But anyway… spoilers… let’s see...Maddox will be in the book quite a bit, and yes, you’ll also meet Cameron’s father. There will also be another new and important female character added to the storyline. And sorry… if you hated the minor cliffhanger ending in book one, it’s not good news because the second book will have one too.



Anything else you'd like to tell your new readers and fans?

First, I just want to thank you for letting me visit your blog! Second, I love, love, love how into the book readers are! And I adore those emails people send telling me they loved the book or asking when book 2 will be out! You don’t know how much I appreciate your kind words! And three, I have and will still be posting small excerpts of The Mind Thieves (book 2) on my blog, so make sure to check it out.















That's it for the interview! Lori is amazeballs! If you haven't read THE MIND READERS, you should GRAB IT NOW BECAUSE IT'S FREE ON AMAZON!!!!!!! And then brace yourself, because you'll be freaking dying for the next book- like I currently am!

You can connect with Lori and tell her how awesome & pretty she is here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I judge book's by their covers- cause i'm clearly shallow

I HAVE to talk about book covers for a quick second. And this is coming purely from a READER'S viewpoint- which is what I totally am when i'm not writing...or being awesome (which I am ALL the time, so I have to fit the other stuff in- lol).

I love to read. It doesn't even have to be "THE.MOST.AMAZING.BOOK.IN.THE.WORLD." but I just have to enjoy the time I spent reading it. You know?
Maybe i'm a weird reader.
That's probably truer than I realize.

Moving on (have you ever noticed how easily distracted I am? Crying out loud...) - As a reader, the cover is the first thing I see/notice. The same way like when i'm out and if I see a guy- his outside is the first thing I notice..like his eyes, or his hair... Rahr.

Distracted again.

I have problems.

*Focus Jenn*
Book covers.
Right! Okay, so I notice a book cover first- and if that intrigues me enough, or really, let's just be honest here, if I think it's pretty, I will want to read the books' description. And that's where you'll either hook me or you won't. I'm either into the storyline, or i'm not interested. Vampires and werewolves- you lost me at Va... Not doubting that it's probably a great book, but I'm just not interested in those things anymore. (no offense really- i'm just into very specific types of storylines- haven't we already established that i'm weird? k, good. lol)

The whole point of this post is that I almost passed up on a really, really, really spectacular book because the cover was so flipping chaotic and crazy and made no sense to me! I almost couldn't get past it. I looked at it... didn't like it- read the description anyway... liked the description of the book... looked at the cover again... wondered wtf was going on with it... and said NO to grabbing it.. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS FREE!!!!!!!!

I INITIALLY PASSED ON A FREE BOOK THAT I THOUGHT SOUNDED GOOD BECAUSE THE COVER WAS SO CRAPPY!

Let's just let that sink in for a minute.
*
*
*
*

Then said book was free again on another day. And I looked at it again... read the description... looked at the cover AGAIN... and clicked OKAY TO BUY. You know, the FREE book.

I got around to reading it and thought it was truly AMAZING! Super well written with characters and a storyline that flowed well, was easy to read and relate too, and should be read by pretty much everyone in the world who is a girl.

Oh yeah, AFTER I finished the book- the cover made total sense. I mean, it still was a mish mash of all sorts of things, but I knew what they were and I understood the relevance.

NOTE TO AUTHORS- if your cover only makes sense AFTER someone reads the book, you have a problem. Because your cover needs to make people WANT to read the book. And I've fallen victim to that- I mean, I thought my initial cover for In Dreams was pretty and "oh look how relevant it is to the story- where they're on the bench in the dreams and they are see through-ish cause they are only together in dream time, blah blah shutup" And it wasn't until I had a new cover designed (thank you goddess michelle) that I realized my cover didn't really GRAB anyone's attention. Sure, it was sort of pretty and calming and i'm sure everyone "got it" after they read the book, but it wasn't like HI! LOOK AT ME! I'M PRETTY AND NEAT AND HE'S A GHOST AND YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK DON'T YOU?! like it does now. At least I think it does now. :) But what the hell do I know?

So yeah. People- get your covers designed well (my cover designer rocks and she is super talented and you should use her). And you need to step out of your author box where you know everything that happens in the story so the cover only makes sense to you and anyone you've let read it before you've released it. You have to make readers WANT TO READ your book. It can't only make sense after. Cause you'll lose half the people in the meantime. Yes, your cover needs to be relevant to your story- don't mislead your readers, but still, don't also lose them completely before you even have them. :)

And while i'm on this topic. Okay, so i'm not REALLY on this topic, but i'm about to be- the whole misleading your readers thing...
When it comes to the product description, please make sure what you say your book is about, IS WHAT YOUR BOOK IS REALLY FREAKING ABOUT!!! ARGH, I want to swear here in so many bad ways, but this is a family blog. lol

I read a book a month or so ago because the description made the book sound like a fantasy book. And as I was reading it, and the fantasy was mentioned periodically, I kept waiting for the main character to go back to the place where the "supposed" fantasy had happened and experience it again... or have more fantasy time... or jump into the fantasy world already and swim around in there or something! But this book wasn't about that at all. It was more about mental issues and coping with loss and life. NOT AT ALL what the product description made it sound like.

And I found myself sort of pissed. Because I kept reading the book assuming that EVENTUALLY we would get to the freaking fantasy part of the story, where the stuff she thought she saw WAS real and we'd experience it. But we never did. Cause it wasn't real. And the main character was crazy, or mental, or something.

And I felt completely deceived. And mislead. And I'm not sure if the author did that on purpose, or if they just didn't know how to descibe the type of book they wrote in a way that would make it sound interesting?!?! BUT FOR PETES SAKE- you can't do that to people! You can't make it sound like it's a story about this 1 event when it's not about that at all. I felt like I completely wasted my time reading something I would never otherwise normally read. Not that it was even necessarily a horrible book, but when you go into it prepared for it to be one way and it is nothing like you have been lead to believe- well, it made it really hard for me to enjoy. In all honesty, had I known the subject matter, I would have never downloaded it and read it in the first place- totally not my thing.

It also sort of pissed me off as an author because i don't like things like misinformation, intentional deceit, lies... those things are bad. lol

I like good things...
Like happiness.
And laughter.
And warm days at the beach.
AND PUPPIES!!!!!

Oh yeah, I'm TOTALLY one of those girls...but that's another blog post for another time.

So yeah, what about you? Any good stories for me? :)







Tuesday, March 06, 2012

editing sucks!

Seriously, I think i'm the only writer in the world who gets to the point where she freaking HATES. HER. BOOKS! lol

Editing is so freaking hard because by the time i'm in the "almost ready to release this book- just one more round of edits- oops, make that two more rounds..." I am so freaking sick to death of reading my own words, that I can't stand the damn thing!!!

I think i'm not normal.

But it's time consuming to go through the edits and make the changes- especially when you get to the point where i'm at... where I think everything i've written is complete crap, the characters are idiots, the story is boring, etc.

I'm a bundle of joy, huh?

LOL- Really though, i'm just being honest. I mean, i'm pretty much always freaking happy. I love life, I love myself, I'm a glass half full type of girl- but there is just something about writing... that makes me all wonky!

Maybe it's the fact that I write a whole book.
Then I go through and enrich it (ha).
Then I send it to 4 different friends who offer 4 very vastly different opinions and see things completely seperately from one another (which is awesome, but makes for 4 additional rounds of edits, etc).
Then it goes to my editor.
Then I have to really edit it.
Then it goes back to her.
Then it comes back to me.

And seriously? By then, I hate everything! And just sitting down to actually DO THE WORK, is such a big freaking effort because I seriously sit here and think, "holy crap, THIS IS SO BORING I CAN'T EVEN GET THROUGH IT TO EDIT IT!!!!"

But then I open an email and it's from my super amazingly awesome and talented cover designer (www.michellepreast.com) and she has mock ups of my cover in there- and then I get all excited and I desperately want to finish my edits just so YOU ALL CAN SEE THE PRETTY COVER OF MY NEW BOOK!

So I sit down all motivated to edit, but then that means I have to read all the shit i've just read and written a bajillion times already. And I'd rather eat thin mints or something.

See? I'm completely mental.

This book will probably come out someday. lol

Wish me luck. Or sanity. Or something that resembles the ability to pretend maybe I didn't write this book and I'm editing it from someone else's perspective?

Or just send me some really hot guy to massage my shoulders and then feed me grapes (just kidding. why the hell would i want grapes?).

Thanks.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Hearst Castle!

My mom came down for a visit and we drove along the coast to Monterey and then to Hearst Castle. I've grown up in Southern California my whole life and i've NEVER been to either of these places. Hearst Castle is more North and Monterey is way more North. lol

Anyway, it was AWESOME! Monterey is ADORABLE and Hearst Castle is STUNNING! I want to live in one of the guest houses forever. Or at least until my Malibu Beach House is ready for me to move into. :)

Me and my mommy in front of the Neptune pool!
ster & mommy-ster at the neptune pool

This was one of my favorite statues on the grounds...
statue at hearst castle

This is the view of the Pacific and the town of San Simeon from the top of the castle grounds. Stunning!
'view

Just another statue- he's so cute! :)
one of the many statues

This is one of the guest homes facing the mountains. I think it's called a "hill view" home. They are adorable and I want an ocean facing one! Clearly i'm easy to please. lol
one of the guest homes at hearst

How cute is this? She's holding a frog with a crown in the palm of her hand and she stands at the very top of a 3 tiered fountain.
statue at hearst castle- she is holding her frog prince

This gorgeous statue is located inside the indoor movie theatre. And when I say movie theatre, I mean it. Mr. Hearst didn't have a small screening room- it was a HUGE theatre lined with probably 20 of these statues.
Movie theatre statue

This is the entrance to the Neptune pool...the most stunning pool in someone's "home" i've ever seen.
Neptune pool entrance

There were fountains ALL over the grounds. They were awesome. everything was awesome! lol
one of the many fountains