Author Update: Book Release & Writing

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I’m planning my next book, as you can see by the note cards. Okay, I’ve already written over 20,000 words of it, but I’m doing some MORE planning.

Last week was exciting, Earthbound was released on Wednesday and is now available for sale on all ebook platforms. My first novel. J And I learned that it only takes 14 sales to jump you from an author rank of 600,000 to 79,000 on Amazon. (I presume that is because there are so many backlist and older books that do not sell much or at all.) Then the trailer came out for my book on Saturday, which is so much fun! (Thanks to JM Robison, Fantasy Author.) And my author rank stayed closer to 80,000 than 600,000, but peaks and valleys are to be expected over time.

However, it’s past time to get back to that second novel. Over the weekend, I focused on two things – sending review requests to more book bloggers and reading back through what I’ve already written on the next book, Firebound.

During NaNoWriMo last year I made a solid start on Firebound, writing about 20,000 words. As I read back over them to get back into the flow of the story, I was pleased with the scenes I’d already written, and even more pleased with the planning on scenes that I’d forgotten I’d done. I have a pretty solid outline.

As I finished reading what I’d printed, I realized I was missing my first chapter. Where did it go? Had I not saved properly? Or did I write it in a different file during Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer of 2019?

Yep, there it was, another 2,500 words, that begin with the line, “I’ve decided to become a nun.” And she isn’t kidding.

Firebound is set about 6 to 8 months after Earthbound and is from the perspective of Ally’s best friend, Jennifer, who was burned in a car accident. (Caused by a demon, of course.) She has mostly recovered but a lot has changed for her.

I’m using the Scene/Sequel method to plan out the story from one scene to the next. It helps me keep a logical flow to the information as I move through the scenes.

Basically, the point-of-view character has a goal which someone opposes. In order to keep conflict moving the story forward, the character is either denied their goal or they achieve it, but with strings attached. In a sequel, the character reacts emotionally, reviews what happened using log and reason, then anticipates what will happen in the future based on several optional paths forward. Finally, the character makes a choice about what they are going to do, or their next goal, which leads to the next scene.

I’m still marketing on the first novel, but I’m jumping back into writing the second novel. I find my mind turning to it at bedtime and while I’m driving. This is the most fun part, the writing.

Earthbound: Pre-release Sale

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Writing Update: Angels, Avoiding Marketing, Writing, and Reading

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The new year is here and my vision is clear. I’ve hit the ground running, for all the work coming my way is … hmm. That first line wasn’t meant to turn into a poem, I swear.

Poetry happens wherever and whenever it hits me — three new this week, so far. I find myself scribbling thoughts down on Post-its, index cards, and typing into the notepad of my phone or Kindle – whatever is convenient.

I’m also taking notes for that second paranormal romance book that I’ve started and itching to get back to work on it. There is definitely a guardian angel involved and one demonic bad guy is taking shape.

Mainly, I’ve been avoiding marketing the new book. It feels quite overwhelming when you get down to it. But, I managed to force myself to concentrate on it for short bursts of time until I’ve come up with a plan that looks more manageable.

Luckily, I have been doing several of the things my publisher recommends, due to a weekend workshop — The Business of Art, which I took through my local Arts council several years ago.

Now I have a long list, it has been prioritized, and I have been checking things off one at a time.

It’s time to get back to writing WHILE I market so that I actually have something to follow up the first book with.

Balance — work, home, marketing, writing. Oh, yes, sleep.

And reading, mustn’t forget that one. I’m listening to Neil Gaiman reading his book, Stardust, while I drive to and from work. His use of language and storytelling provides a very inspiring start to the day.

Writerly Update: Some Days Are Like This

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Some days are like this.

I went to get an egg out of the carton and it broke, in the carton, because it was stuck to it. Okay, I’ll just pour it right out of there, but it wouldn’t come out. Okay, I’ll go get a new egg. Went to the fridge, picked up the carton and opened it – egg promptly drops on the floor. Right. Okay. Clean that up and off to work.

No problem. Day will get better from here. Had a lovely drive in listening to Neil Gaiman read Stardust. Get to work and try to pick up bag with sweater lying across it to take inside, only to find that the corner of the sweater was caught in the car door and is now saturated with mud and rain. Right. Okay. Clean that up and head to my desk.

Sinuses are swollen, making my head feel lopsided and my ears itchy and congested.

And my sister gave my child a stitch your own lama pillow for Christmas. Awesome, totally cute, will enjoy doing this with her. However, she has only sewn one other thing and insists on doing it right now while she’s at work with me, because she can do it herself! But the thread is horrible and splits constantly and she drops the needle every three minutes, so I am going insane trying to thread the needle for her, every three minutes.

I feel like I’m in a Bridget Jones novel. Send help.

I did turn in my short story so I’m on to advertising the paranormal romance, Earthbound, coming out in January. (Still on pre-order for 99 cents until release on January 15th through all ebook outlets.) http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Johnson_Melora/earthbound.htm

Plus, writing the new one, and then submitting the short stories that came back, rejected, in December.

Wishing for patience, peace, and decongestants for all in the New Year. Maybe some soup too. Or a wine glass full of Nyquil?

Writer’s Update:

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I feel like I got an early Christmas present. I wrote a little poem about missing people at this time of year and it seemed to touch a note with people. There are now 400 Likes for my page on Facebook. Yay!

I’ve been busy the last few days – writing poetry, editing a flash fiction and a short story, and working on setting up marketing for my forthcoming paranormal romance, Earthbound.

At the same time, it is the Christmas season and I’ve also been shopping and baking, and spending time with family.
 
I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a day of rest!

 

 

Writing Updates: Christmas! Argh!

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Writing Updates

Poetry continues every week, just like breathing. I’m thinking about a small advertisement here on Facebook for those last minute shoppers who might buy books for their friends and relatives. A poetry book with such a beautiful cover is just what you need! 🙂

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1719587760/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

I’ve learned that advertising a book is a mind-boggling undertaking. I find posts by other writers that say, “Just do A, B, and C! It’s easy!” Except that I feel like I’m doing Algebra instead of simple addition.

I’m just finishing up editing a short story set during the recon of Iwo Jima that I’ve been working on for a while. I did a LOT of research for it, but I wanted to get the details right even though it’s fiction. (I’ve learned that historical fiction is one of the most difficult things to write, in my opinion.) My writer’s group has been extremely encouraging about it and helpful with suggestions for edits. I’m almost there!

Meanwhile, Christmas shopping and baking goes on with me substituting ingredients and leaving out sugar here and there then swearing silently about it. I’m also at work most of the day so . . . “Firebound” has been on the back burner, just bubbling a little in my mind. I make tiny notes and imagine little bits of scenes, thinking how this or that fits in.

And I just listened to a wonderful book that I can highly recommend, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. It was lovely and sad and uplifting with a STRONG vein of humor running through it. It’s a
Swedish film and we’re going to watch the movie tonight. (I’ve seen suggestions that Tom Hanks will be producing an American version of the film. I can understand why.)

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas!

First Review of Earthbound, a Paranormal Romance

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I received my first review on Goodreads for “Earthbound” in response to an Advanced Reader Copy. I’m so excited!

“Melora Johnson’s writing is thoroughly engrossing. With a delicious variety of characters, all of whom we get to know well, this is a story that takes you on a fun ride. There are wonderful passages which set the scene so clearly, I felt that I was sitting in the room with the characters! This is a romance, and a thriller, and a fantasy. My only complaint is that the epilogue came too quickly. More! More!”

“Earthbound” is on pre-order sale now for just 99 cents until it is released on January 15, 2020. The link to most e-book platforms can be found on the Tirgearr Publishing book page at http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/…/Johnson_…/earthbound.htm

Author Events and Book Updates

BookSigning

This weekend, we had FIFTEEN authors at my library reading from their books, as well as swag, food, and door prizes. I woke up incredibly nervous that morning, but thanks to help from friends, it went off without a hitch.

I had a spot myself to sell signed copies of my poetry book, “A Sanctuary Built of Words.”

I also put up a sheet offering free Advanced Reader Copies of my upcoming paranormal romance in exchange for an honest review. Earthbound will be out in January and I need to get people talking about it.

Earthbound is on pre-order sale right now for just 99 cents and will be $3.99 when it releases in mid-January.

It is an ebook, available on most all platforms. You can check it out on Tirgearr Publishing at http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Johnson_Melora/earthbound.htm

(By the way, contrary to what the mug says, I don’t correct anyone’s grammar . . . unless they ask me to.)

A Book Party and Publishing News

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We’re going to be having a fantastic Book Party with 15 authors at my library in Corning this coming Saturday. We’ll all be reading aloud, and have books to sign and sell. I can’t wait! There’ll be food and door prizes too!
In personal publishing news, I actually got an email on Saturday that I had a short story accepted into an online literary journal called The Paragon Journal. That makes four pieces, from poetry to a novel, coming out in the next year. It’s amazing to finally be making progress.

Writing Update:

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Sometimes you just need to contemplate a really funky geometric bowl of green and purple cauliflower.

Of course, I’m still working on marketing plans and writing a short story while preparing for NaNoWriMo, but I took time off this past week to celebrate another trip around the sun.

If you’ve ever contemplated writing a book, you should check out National Novel Writing Month. (NaNoWriMo dot org) It’s a ton of fun! And you don’t have to write a novel, you can be a NaNo Rebel and write anything your heart desires!

It’s just you making a goal and writing, writing, writing, with the support of a lovely community of people. I’ll be working on my second paranormal romance this year.

Hope you can join us!

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