Monday, December 16, 2013

Nine things you might not know about me

I posted this on facebook and figured i'd post it on my blog as well. Why? Cause it's fun!  :)

Nine things you might not know about me:

1- I used to work for Disney. Not DisneyLAND, but Disney- the company. I worked in the building that the dwarfs hold up in Burbank. I LOVED working there. It was pretty f'n magical.
 


2- I was a DJ... on the radio during college at the campus radio station. I played music that scared the living piss out of me because it was dark and angry and filled with screaming lyrics i couldn't understand. So there would be all this YELLING and then i'd be all chipper and happy like "HI! It's jenn here! And that was... uh.. holy crap, i can't even pronounce their name or song title. My bad." lol
 


3- I love to take pictures and I love having my picture taken. What can I say? I'm sort of a ham.
 
 
 
4- I was born and raised in Southern California and I hate the fact that I don't currently live there. I can't wait to move back. CANT. WAIT. 


5- Pretty much every job i've had in my adult life has been in the entertainment industry. Disney, Lucasfilm, Casting Agencies, Talent Agencies, Radio Stations, etc. 
 


 6- I love the rain. Absolutely freaking love it. I especially love it when i'm at the beach. There's something about water falling on water...it soothes me. 
 


 7- I prefer odd numbers. I don't know why, I just don't really like even numbers. I'm all about the odds. 
 


 8- I got my very first tattoo last New Years Eve. By myself. That was sort of sad. I want a couple more, but I haven't decided exactly WHAT or WHERE yet.  

 9- I totally believe in past lives, soulmates, and that we can talk to the dead. And sometimes my dreams come true. Like the ones I have when i'm sleeping. (I love that by the way). I also love astrology. I'm a Virgo. Classic Virgo.
 
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Leah. Still Remembering You, Sal

It's that time again. That time of year. I am not over it. I'm not past it. It still feels like yesterday. And even though I don't post on this blog that often anymore (I post on my author blog), I can't let this go by without reposting it all again. 


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.

Two years ago when I originally 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, April 12, 2013

The Game Changer and a GIVEAWAY!

The Game Changer is coming out in two months people!  TWO! MONTHS! I know you all hate waiting, but it will fly by and be here before you know it and then we'll all be sad that we aren't looking forward to it anymore. Right?!  That's how I felt about Reckless by S.C. Stephens!  Counting down like crazy... waiting, waiting, waiting.. and then BOOM!
It was here.
And now it's gone.
And it's sad. 
(I love you Shannon)

Anyway, I've started celebrating!  Why?  Because i'm really freaking excited! :) And I also want to showcase some talent I've come across since writing The Perfect Game (I love supporting people who are working hard to create their own businesses and become their own boss! You go girls)!  :) 

The first rule of business? I've put TPG on sale for .99 cents for this weekend only (April 12-14)!  Let's get some hype going for the next book!!!!  WOO HOO!!!  See? I told you I was excited.  lol

To share in all the fun, I've decided to have a giveaway. There is a rafflecopter thingy - mabob at the end of this post where you can tweet, facebook, gift a copy of TPG to your friend, pre-order the game changer, like Bzbisdakbiz (that's who made the prizes) on Facebook,  etc. 

And then you'll be entered to win 1 of 4 prizes!  There are FOUR winners total (maybe more if I go crazy by Monday morning).  You can win:

A Perfect Game Inspired Keychain!  I have this on my keys and I freaking LOVE it!  And everyone who sees it thinks it's the cutest thing ever!!!
 
A Perfect Game Inspired Charm Bracelet. It's so cool, with all sorts of charms to represent Jack & Cassie individually, as well as together.  <3 this!

A "Kitten" Necklace inspired by Cassie's nickname given to her by Jack F'n Carter.  :)  Too cute!

And This one is new!!!!  This is the first time i'm seeing it and I love it!  It's so cool!!  Pandora bracelet inspired by The Perfect Game!  This is awesome.  :)
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links to TPG:
THE PERFECT GAME- US KINDLE

UK:
THE PERFECT GAME- UK KINDLE

Links to TGC Pre-Order:
THE GAME CHANGER- PRE ORDER

UK:
THE GAME CHANGER- PRE ORDER

Per usual- thank you so much everyone for your support and general, all around awesomeness!  I freaking adore you!  :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Game Changer- now available for pre order

Amazon has the pre order link live for THE GAME CHANGER.  Please remember that this book is a follow up story to The Perfect Game.  :)

So basically, it's MORE Jack F'n Carter!  And Cassie!  And Dean!  And Melissa! 

And it comes out on JUNE 25th!!!!

I'm really freaking excited. And nervous.  It's true. 

Alright, the pre order link.  Here it is!  :) 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Game-Changer-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BYEGSQQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1364396253&sr=8-3

In the UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Game-Changer-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BYEGSQQ/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1364397439&sr=8-8

For all other Amazon sites, just search "The Game Changer J. Sterling" and scroll through until you get the correct book and link.  :)

Thanks everyone for your continued support and all around general awesomeness. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Signed a deal with AMAZON!

You have been waiting for sooooooooooooo long to hear the release date for THE GAME CHANGER, right?!  I am sorry that it's taken me forever to announce this, but as these things tend to go, publishing deals take time and there are contracts and points and things to go over and deadlines to meet, etc. 

Did I say publishing deal?

I DID! 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) 

The Perfect Game and The Game Changer will be published by Amazon Publishing in New York!  I am SUPER excited (and super scared).  lol Okay, i'm not really super scared.  I'm way more excited!!!!

As long as we meet all of our production deadlines, etc...

THE GAME CHANGER will be released on

JUNE 25, 2013

Which means that it will be released in time for Book Bash in Orlando and I WILL have paperback copies there for sale!!!!

So to celebrate this awesome announcement, The Perfect Game is on sale for .99 ! 
http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Game-ebook/dp/B009OMPKTG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363202004&sr=8-2&keywords=the+perfect+game

Go meet Jack and Cassie and get ready for the next installment of their relationship (which I truly hope you'll LOVE)!

Questions and answers:
Does this mean that TGC and TPG will no longer be available as an e-book on Itunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc?
Yes. Unfortunately at this time, once June 25th hits, TPG and TGC will only be available as an e-book on Amazon.

So how will I be able to read it then?
You can either order a paperback copy (which should be available on all sites), or you can download the kindle app on your Ipad, PC, phone, etc and purchase the kindle version to read. I really am sorry about that.

Will your other books be amazon exclusive?
No. My other two books will remain available on all sites and on all platforms.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I went to Boston and All I got was...

freezeburn.  JK

So.. I'm back from Boston and well...

I'm exhausted!!!!

Boston was great! 
Amazing! 
Wonderful! 
Exciting! 
AND COLD! 
Really, mother f'n COLD! 

And I was INSIDE!  lol

First of all, I need to THANK all of you who stood outside for literally hours on end to wait your turn to come inside and meet us. I can only hope that you maybe made new friends with the people in front and behind you and made the outdoor experience fun in some way. Maybe you took pictures of guys abs?! Maybe you yelled "VAGINA" at strangers driving by in their cars?! Or maybe that only happened on Saturday night? lol

Have you seen the video of the line? It's pretty amazing. You're all pretty freaking amazing.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=10200820626068141

Also, I heard that people were turned away from standing in line and didn't get to come in at all, but I haven't seen that online anywhere. Did that really happen? Because I'm telling you that all the other authors and myself were fully willing and prepared to head outside in the cold with y'all and sign your books. Personally, it hurts my heart to think that people planned to come and didn't get in. Maybe it was all a rumor. I'm sincerely hoping so.

So, while in Boston a group of us decided it would be a good idea to take a talking historical tour of the city. Um, first mistake...trying to keep a group of rowdy authors and their friends quiet during a TALKING tour.  Apparently we're a bunch of "dicks." At least that's what we were told.

Dicks in action:
2

Me and Tara Sivec aren't dicks. We're just silly. Although in Tara's books, those two words sorta go hand in hand. Maybe once we were called dicks, we all should have started talking in Pirate speak?! Arrrr matey, we're a buncha dicks arrrr! (read seduction & snacks people) Ps- tara, what the hell are you cupping in this pic?!  My ribs?
3

Do you read C&C book blog?!  Well it's run by this here gorgeous and amazing person, Christina. She's crazy, which only makes me love her more honestly.
6

I got to meet so many of you on Saturday that I knew from facebook, instagram and twitter. That was super fun for me!  I freaking love you guys!  And really, y'all give me the COOLEST dang gifts!!!  Thank you so much to Pushy Girl Paintings for bringing me this one of a kind painted baseball!  I adore it.


And I also got this awesome mug filled with chocolate quarters and chocololate baseballs. It was so rad!  Thank you Candice for doing that!  I love it.  :)

How are your favorite authors in real life?
Pretty damn cool, I must admit.

I mean, I've always been in love with Tarryn Fisher (my angsty little nymph):
17

And Rebecca Donovan (my real life fairy- she just hides her wings):
16

And S.C. Stephens, Tara Sivec and CJ Roberts!

But this time I got to meet and fall in love with people like Kyla Linde (I sort of want to turn this picture of her into a christmas ornament and hang her on my tree)! 
10

And Jessica Park!
19

And Katie Ashley!
14

And Raine Miller! And Emmy Montes!  And so many other people who were simply awesome!!  It's so cool when an amazingly talented and creative group of women can be in one room together and all get along!

I have some crazy story to tell y'all about the drunk guy named Soup who almost got his ass kicked by Sterling, but i'm tired. Maybe tomorrow (definitely not tomorrow).  lol 

I'll leave you with the shirt I wore in Boston.  Loving some Jack F'n Carter.  :)  <3


Thank you again to everyone who came out! You made the whole day worth it. You're the best group of freaking readers I could ever ask for. Thanks for always making me feel so good about what I do (and WHO I do it for).  Love y'all.  Hard.  :)

Ps- if you were in boston and you posted a recap, link it in the comments! I'd love to read them all if I can!!  :)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

My heart

My <3 is="" made="" not="" of="" p="" s.="" up="">
If you were to take my heart out of my chest and hold it to your ear, you would not hear the sound of coins jingling around the sides. Nor would you hear the crumpled sound of paper dollar bills brushing up against the edges.

No.

If you held my heart up to your ear, you would hear the sound of my Love, my Joy, my Pain, my Heartache, my Heartbreak, my Success, my Failure, my Triumphs, my Laughter, my Tears, my Hurt, my Losses, my Past, my Future, my Words, my Hopes, my Dreams...

My heart is missing pieces of itself that I've lost along the way. Some i've given freely. Some i've wanted back. But it's my heart, my journey and I wouldn't change a thing.

Every story I write is a piece of myself that I choose to share with anyone who chooses to read it.  I write FROM the heart, WITH my heart.

It's just who I am.

And dear readers, I can promise you this:  I will never write for the money. I wouldn't even know where to start. 

<3

I love and appreciate it every single one of you. Thank you for being the raddest freaking readers on earth.  :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Paintings!

Book paintings?!

What the heck is a book painting you ask? 

Many moons ago in a land called Instagram there lived a painter, an author and a reader.  One day the reader tagged the author in a sketch of The Perfect Game and the author proceeded to ask intelligent questions like:

OH MY GOD!  WHAT IS THIS?!?!?!?
IS THIS A SKETCH?!?!?
AND THEN IT BECOMES A PAINTING?!?!?
ARE YOU GETTING THE PERFECT GAME AS A PAINTING??!?!!
OMG, CAN I GET TPG AS A PAINTING?!?!?!?
CAN I BUY SOME PAINTINGS FOR MY AUTHOR FRIENDS?!?!?
WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL LAND I HAVE STUMBLED UPON?!?!?!??!

And thus, my Perfect Game painting was born.  :)






















And so were these other two paintings I bought for my author friends, S.C. Stephens
 
And Samantha Towle




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aren't they freaking cool?
 
I think so too.  Obviously.
 
So anyway, Danielle (that's the painter from the land of Instagram) has set up shop on facebook where you can go and order your own painting!  From whatever book you loved- although if she hasn't read it yet, you'll have to help her out and make sure you tell her what elements you want on it.
 
They're pretty unique gifts and they are even more awesome in real life if you can believe that!  Not to mention that they are affordable as well! I just wanted to give her a little shout because I believe in her talent and I want nothing but great things for her. 
 
If you're looking for a cool, one of a kind painting, look no further than Pushy Girl Paintings.  :)
 
 
 

 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Adult Books

I have a question for all you readers out there (and authors too)... What does the term "new adult" mean to you?

I classify my books as New Adult when the main characters are either college aged, or in their early 20's. The story may not necessarily appeal to the true YA audience because the characters are doing things they can't relate to yet (interning, working full time, living with their bf's, etc). It's about a period of time in our lives when we're not necessarily sure where we're headed. We're still figuring things out. It's that in-between stage between high school and true adulthood. We've all been there.

Now my characters in In Dreams are in college, but I wrote that book in a younger voice, with no sex, very little swearing, etc. I classify it as YA because it reads as YA, even though the characters are no longer in high school. I felt like the situations the characters go through was appealing enough to a younger audience that they wouldn't feel like they couldn't relate.

I honestly think that if your main characters are in high school, then your book is Young Adult. At least that's what i've always just assumed as a reader. Young Adult = high school aged stories. No matter if they're having sex, swearing, doing drugs, etc- high school kids have sex, swear, do drugs, etc.

But i've seen some high school aged books being called New Adult. So i'm wondering, are we classifying that category based on subject matter of the book, the way the book is written, or the age of the characters?!

I honestly don't know.

I honestly am asking.

If we want the category to be taken seriously by publishing houses, readers and bookstores, then it needs to be consistent, does it not?

So I wonder- what does New Adult mean to you? When you're a reader and you grab a New Adult book, are you assuming the characters are at least college aged, if not older?

Talk to me people. :)

Monday, January 07, 2013

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND COPIES SOLD!

You guys!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

Can you hear me YELLING?!?!??!?!?  :)

The Perfect Game has sold over 100,000 copies!!!!!

One. Hundred. Thousand. Copies.

*please send some hot guy over with a fan and grapes cause i'm about to faint*

Just shy of being released for 3 months and we've reached this HUGE milestone!  I'm so flipping blown away.  I have never been here before!  I've never been anywhere close to this before so I'm at a loss for words.  (not really, it's just that The Game Changer is taking all my words at the moment). 

I wanted to celebrate because this truly is a freaking enormous event for a self published author. Hell, I think it's an enormous event for ANY author.  :) 

So I was sitting here this morning, trying to thing of a way that I could THANK all of my readers. I thought about doing another giveaway but quickly tossed that idea aside.  I'm sorry, but too many giveaways start to feel disingenuous and like i'm trying to buy your readership. Which I totally am, dur.  :) 

Then I realized that the perfect way to tell you all THANK YOU would be for me to post another teaser from the upcoming follow up book, The Game Changer! 

Right?!

RIGHT!!!!!! 

So here you go:
(and by the way, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my book. And for telling other people to read it. I know it probably seems like I say that a lot- or say the same things over and over again, but it's just that you don't understand. The only way I can do something as freaking unbelievable as this... is with YOU.  Because you read it and loved it and then told your friends to buy it-  i'm in this place.  This amazing, beautiful, mind blowing place.  So yeah, I may thank you a lot. I may say thank you for the word of mouth. For writing reviews on Amazon. For telling people on Goodreads to give the book a chance. For gifting copies of it to your friends. For posting about it on Facebook. For tweeting on Twitter.  For ALL OF IT.  Hell yes I tell you THANK YOU a lot. Because I mean it.  Because I am thankful. And because you guys are the best freaking readers in the whole entire world and I FLIPPING APPRECIATE YOU. Okay?  Okay. :) 

So here you go!

TEASER #2 from THE GAME CHANGER- Coming Someday in the Future lol

I closed my eyes, drinking in his vow. Part of me cringed, acknowledging the vulnerability that coursed within me. I needed to be stronger than this. But as much as I wanted to believe that Jack's mistake with Chrystle was a one time major screw up, I’d be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t fearful.
I was.
And I wasn’t sure how not to be.
“Do you believe me?” he asked, his expression filled with worry.
I fought back the tears that formed in my eyes, “I want to.” I longed to bottle my anxiety up and put it on a shelf where it only came out for special occasions, but I didn’t know how. Right now it lived on the outside of my skin, like an extra layer of warmth I couldn’t shed no matter how hot I became. My emotions had taken full control over every other part of me. I’d become victim to my own insecurities.
“I’ll show you,” his forehead pressed against mine as he continued. “I’ll never lose you again.”
“What if I want to be lost?” I teased with a serious tone and watched as he pulled his head from mine.
“I won’t let you.”
“You won’t let me?” I mocked, secretly loving the way he wanted me.
Jesus Cassie, you’re a fucking nutcase right now. Pick an emotion. Pretend like you’re in charge here.
“No. I won’t let you. End of discussion,” his mouth remained stoic.
“That wasn’t really what one would consider a discussion.”
“Because there’s nothing to discuss. I’m not leaving you ever again. And you’re not leaving me. No matter how pissed off I make you, or how frustrated. I fucking love you and I’m not going anywhere.”
I attempted to fight back the smile that formed. “And I love you. But really, if you ever cheat on me again I’ll cut your nuts off and hang them from the Empire State Building.” 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Why it takes so long to write a dang book!

I know that some of you don't understand WHY the heck it takes so long to write a book!  Some other authors seem to bust out a book a month- which is awesome for them... unfortunately, i'm not one of them.

I thought i'd tell you the two biggest things that take up my time because you've probably never even thought about it before. 

#1-  RESEARCH!  Even the stupidest, smallest detail needs researched if I don't know anything about it. For example-  Jack & Chrystle splitting up... what are the laws in Alabama for an annulment?  Can you get one? If you can, for what reasons? How do you file one? How long does it take to process? Seriously. I look up all that sort of stuff before I write about it so that the picture I paint is as accurate as possible. Sometimes I'll find that i've spent hours researching things for ONE paragraph (and sometimes ONE statement or sentence) in the whole story!  It's crazy town!  :)  Research is time consuming, but I don't know a single author that doesn't do it. Writing about a jail scene? They're researching what the person wears, what the rules are, who can visit and when, etc. Writing about a baseball player heading to the major leagues?  They're researching where the minor league teams are located, making a list and then going through the list to see which Major league team makes the most sense. I look up everything if I don't already know. EVERYTHING! I reach out to my friends in the business for a more realistic approach (had to reach out to a big LA publicist friend the other day for some questions). I researched Cassie's major and compiled a list of all the classes she could take and then I chose the ones she did. I have the college schedule printed out so I know when they break for Christmas, Spring Break, when school ends, starts, etc.  I have the Mets schedule printed for game dates, times, days off (ha), etc. 

#2- THESAURUS.COM  i.am.not.joking.  God I wish I was. But I seriously suck at vocabulary. I write the way I talk. 100% the way I think, talk, my friends talk, etc. So I tend to repeat the same things over and over and over again. I swear I spend half the day writing and the other half looking up words in the freaking thesaurus.  And even then my editor still has to make it all better.  lol

So there you have it. Those are the two biggest things that "take away" from my writing time and suck up my days. If you're a writer, what are yours? 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

You want to write a book PART 3

Cause it's so much fun to piss everyone off, I figured i'd just keep verbally vomiting so you don't have to.  lol

This one will be short.  But it's still the truth.  Well, MY turth anyway.

You need to have integrity as a writer. 
And you need to stay true to yourself and the stories you choose to tell.

I know you want to write a book that connects with people. And i'm sure by now you've read all the "popular" self-published books just trying to figure out what those books have that yours doesn't. But what you don't realize is that it's all a crap shoot. I'm not kidding. Timing, what's trending, who is buying and reading books, exposure, what else is out there, how over or under saturated the market is, what people want, what they're sick of reading, where the moon is aligned in your sun sign, etc.  Whatever sold two weeks ago might not sell two weeks from now. Readers are fickle. You shouldn't be when it comes to your writing.

The biggest thing for me personally is- I know that I could take the route of writing in a certain manner, or about certain topics for shock value simply to make a buck, but that would be completely disingenuous of me. I'm a smart person. I know what sells in the same way that marketing genuises learned that sex sells in advertising. I could do all sorts of things to ensure that people will talk about my books once they've read the last chapter. But I can't do things that don't feel real to me. That doesn't mean that my stories won't break your heart, or have painful topics in them... because they will. But what it does mean is that you can rest assured that the story came from my heart and not my wallet.

Listen, I want readers to love what I write, but I want to know that my story came from the right place. I don't write for the money. I write because of the way it makes me feel to put my story on paper. And for the way that people react to it. No matter how few or how many the number- the genuine feeling you get as an author is the same.

So my advice to future writers out there:

Just be you.

Write the stories that make you FEEL like you are being true to your calling.
You will find your groove. You will hit your stride. And you won't feel like you sold out to do it.

There's nothing more beautiful than being successful doing something you genuinely love to do.

Now go do it.  :)