Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Nameless Meme

My critique partner Shauna Roberts tagged me with a meme. I'm still trying to figure out what "meme" means, but I get the gist of it. I should caution you that I am notorious for killing memes, and don't want to spoil my reputation, so I won't be tagging anyone with this.

The Nameless Meme

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Kicking my butt to finish up my undergrad degree from Xavier University in three years, because my mom graduated from Southern University in three years. I just wanted to prove I could do it. I did.

Five things on your to-do list for today

1. Get the oil changed in my car
2. Go to B&N so I can check out Writing Tools which I just read about on Shauna's blog
3. Exercise (promise to do it this time. Someone hold me accountable, dammit!)
4. Check out The Big Annual Sale at Bath and Body Works
5. Try a new recipe from one of my Weight Watcher cookbooks

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

1. Buy a super sweet apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
2. Travel. Lots and lots of travel.
3. Buy a mountain home and fly my critique group members out there for our monthly meetings (iChat is nice, but nothing beats us all together).
4. Buy the villa on St. Martin, Virgin Islands, that I used as the model for the place where two of my previous characters get married in my upcoming book Rescue Me (Available 2/09 from Leisure books)
5. Give an endowment to my church so they can finally fix the parking lot
6. Start a scholarship in my aunt Lois's name at my old high school (don't really need to be a billionaire to do this, but I don't have the money yet).

What are three of your bad habits?

1. Not sticking to my schedule; making excuses for when I veer off track
2. Not being conscious of the foods I eat
3. Cursing while driving

What are some snacks you enjoy?

1. Anything chocolate (except chocolate-covered bugs...saw those the other day. Yuck!)
2. Cheetos
3. Ice Cream -- especially Ben & Jerry's New York Chocolate Chunk
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies
5. Cheese and Crackers
6. Raw Veggies (this is a HUGE lie, I'm just totally ashamed by all the junk on this list).

What were the last five books you read?

1. Ian's Ultimate Gamble by Brenda Jackson
2. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
3. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
4. No Control by Shannon K. Butcher
5. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Signh

What are five jobs you have had?

1. Administrative Assistant
2. Causal Learning Practitioner
3. Human Systems Specialist
4. Human Resources Assistant
5. Receptionist

What are five places where you have lived?

Small town in Louisiana where I still live
Lafayette, LA
Gramercy, LA (for, like, one month, but it should still count)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

The Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America has this great feature they do every month, Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author, where they ask published authors to share a few pieces of advice they would give themselves if they could travel back in time to before they were published.

I was asked to participate by my critique partner, and OCC member, Shauna Roberts.

Hop on over to A Slice of Orange to read the words of wisdom I would have passed on to myself before I was published.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Doing the Author Thing

These past few weeks since the release of my second novel, Release Me, have been filled with what I call "author things". Online and print interviews, book signings, the occasional book store drive-by to make sure my book is being stocked (my local area Wal-Mart's still don't have it); these are all the things that I would not do if I were not an actual author. It's cool doing the author thing.

I had another of those fun experiences recently when I was asked to give a presentation on my "incredible journey to publication" (their words, not mine) at a local library.

I'll share a secret. Before I started doing the "author thing" you couldn't pay me to speak in front of a group of people. Okay, maybe if you paid me a lot of money, but it would have to be enough to buy a new hybrid car. I abhor public speaking. However, over the last year and a half, I've had to adjust. I still don't like it, and probably never will, but I'm getting better at it. I think.

Here are a couple of shots from my speaking engagement at the St. Charles Parish Library:

Ms. Sue was nice enough to give me a lovely introduction. She thinks it's cool that I'm actually writing a book in their library study room everyday. I think it's way cool that she's a librarian!

How lovely to be surrounded by writing craft books, and my own novels, of course.

Big thank you to the folks at the St. Charles Parish library and the patrons who came to hear me speak. There was one young reader looking for books that would appeal to a young boy, around age 13 or 14, I think. Any ideas, folks? I suggested James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, but other than that, I'm still drawing a blank. If you have ideas, throw them out there for me! I'm going to email them to his mom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Joys of Book Signings

This past weekend, I blogged on Blogging in Black about book festivals, book expos, and signings I've attended or plan to attend to promote my newest book, Release Me.

I'll be honest, book signings are not my favorite things. I've mentioned this in a previous blog post, how there seems to be this pressure to buy an author's book when you come across them at a book signing. People avoid eye contact, and whiz by the table as if there's a pot of gold waiting on the other side.

Well, I've found there is a difference when the book signing is set up specifically for the author. I've had two such signings at local libraries. It's a huge boost to my ego when folks actually line up to buy my book instead of avoiding me.

Here's a pic at one such signing with one of my newest favorite fans, Marie.

Marie and her husband drove all the way from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend my book signing in LaPlace. Talk about an ego boost! That's a good 40 mile drive. With gas prices the way they are, I was completely floored that someone would drive so far just to see little ol' me.

Wait! It gets better. Turns out Marie already had both Deliver Me and Release Me. She drove all that way because she wanted signed copies for her keeper shelf!

Excuse me while I deflate my swelling head. But not yet. This is as close to rock star status as I'll probably ever get.

Monday, June 09, 2008

SORMAG's Featured Author Interview

I'm the featured author today at Shades of Romance online magazine. When you have a chance, please swing on by and check out my interview with LaShaunda at SORMAG!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Three Hot Chicks and a Book

If this were a da Vinci, it could only be titled Three Hot Chicks and a Book.

I received this great shot of my friends Susan, Karen, and Jennie (of Duchess Check out her site!) reading Release Me at one of my favorite Barnes & Noble stores, the huge one in Union Square in New York City.

Not only did they wrestle a poor sales guy to take the picture, but they also stuck Release Me bookmarks in several novels, and moved copies of my book from the shelves to the display at the front of this store, and another in Lincoln Center.

I'll bet every author wish they had friends like mine. Too bad, I'm not giving these ladies up for anything!