Lust…and why it’s not a good thing for an author

What do you think of when you hear the word lust?  Yeah, I know, I know, but is there another definition besides sexual?  You would be surprised to know there is.  And that’s where it can get you in trouble.

According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/    Lust is defined as:

  • a strong feeling of sexual desire

But it is also defined as:

  • a strong desire for something
  • personal inclination :  wish

And the kicker for authors:

–  – an intense longing :  craving <a lust to succeed>
As an unknown author, this last part can do you in, literally, making a sweet, naïve, wanna-be into an obsessive, desperate extremist.  It can occupy your time to the point that you are checking your Facebook notifications several times a day to find out if people are liking and viewing your book trailer or saying something about your books and doing the same with Amazon to check if anyone has purchased your book yet and if there are any new reviews.
Lust for success can turn your positive energy and efforts into a endless black hole of obsession and nasty self talk which will not only hurt your self esteem but also your inner creative spirit that, if left alone and nourished, would flow and grow into something really beautiful.
As authors, we do want to “make it big.”  That’s one of the reasons we may have entered into the profession to begin with- so we can eventually become a full time author, engaging daily in what we love most and injecting back positive energy into the world. But let’s sit back and think for a minute.  Ask yourself this question.  If there was no money in it, would you still want to write?  How about if there was never a possibility of you becoming famous, would you write then?
If you can say “yes” to both then you are truly a writer and you must not give up because this is your passion and your true calling.  You have something to say and contribute, so go do it!  We will likely be better for it.
Writing shouldn’t be centered around being famous.  It should be about expressing who we truly are inside.  It should be about bringing forth our creative ideas and/or experiences whether we inspire others or not.
It’s about being true to yourself.
So for all the writers out there, who strive to express themselves every day, I applaud you.  Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t worry about success because by doing what you love, whether it be part-time, or full time, you are a success.  Just
enjoy the journey wherever it takes you and may it take you to financial success at the perfect time when you are ready for it.
Take care, my friends.

Excerpt from my upcoming book- Jasper, The Guardian League: Book One

Hello readers.  =0)

Here’s an excerpt from my latest Paranormal Romance book, Jasper, Book One of the Guardian League Series.  Jasper is set to release August 27th:

Well, that couldn’t have gone any smoother, she mused. Not only did Jasper turn out to be clever, intelligent and chivalrous but he also had a witty sense of humor that she found very appealing. He even paid for their meals when she said all along she would. He insisted. Tatiana had fun tonight and she laughed so hard that she couldn’t even remember the last time she had so much fun with a man. Not that men were scarce, for they sure weren’t, but for some reason, they seemed to be, for her.

All her friends attracted good men but for Tatiana, she was the last one standing behind with the leftovers. Unfortunately, for her, most of the men she found didn’t seem to like ‘fluffy’ women. She preferred this term to the traditional and sometimes very harsh insults used to describe her size: pudgy, fat, or even worse, obese. Tatiana wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t your average size. Unfortunately, she did have quite a few extra pounds on her that she tried and tried to get off her, but no amount of exercising seemed to do it, though she spent hours on her elliptical machine endlessly trying. In the meantime, she had given up on dating. It just seemed pointless to go out with someone who didn’t have an interest beyond a one-night stand. She wanted a companion, a best friend, someone she could spend time with and share everything with.

She wondered what it was with men nowadays. The men she met never wanted to spend more than one day per week with her. Why? She was fun-loving and spontaneous and she wanted the exact opposite of what these men tolerated. Tatiana wanted someone who loved her company and wanted to spend lots of time with her. Jasper seemed different from any man she dated before. There was just something about him, she thought, as he walked her to her car. He was easy to talk to and at least he wasn’t like her last date she met on a local dating website who commended his dad for committing suicide and openly told her he expected to do the same after he aged and his body broke down from health problems. He went on to say he expected his wife or girlfriend to accept it and that he wouldn’t tell her when but that she would just find him dead one day. She shook her head as she recalled how upsetting and gruesome this experience was and their long, argumentative conversations regarding this sore subject which ended their relationship.

Wow. The things she’d been through. Thank god Jasper was different.

He jotted his cell phone number down on a blank piece of paper he pulled out of his pocket. She watched his sexy lips form words that were foreign to her. Time. Place. A formal date. Huh? A date? He was asking her for a date? He couldn’t be. But why?

“I like you, Tatiana,” he grabbed her hands and intertwined their fingers together. “Can I take you out on a date? What do you think? Will you let me?”

She stood mute and could only look at him, curiously. Lines creased into her forehead and she felt her eyebrows twitching, one after the other, as if in a battle of wills.

“So, what do you think? Do you want to date me?”

Goodness, was he really asking her this? Regardless, here was her opportunity and she couldn’t let it pass her by.

“Yes! Yes, I do,” she exclaimed, loudly before he changed his mind.

There was that glorious, knee-jerking grin of his again. Damn. She needed to copyright it and make it hers and only hers.

Sneak peak at cover for upcoming book: Jasper

Here’s a sneak peak at the cover for my upcoming book, Jasper, the first in a series of 5 Paranormal Romance books with Guardian Angels.  Jasper is set to release on August 27th.

Jasper cover image-full

It’s beach time… or how to de-stress

Whew…  what a long week…  Time to de-compress.  How does a writer do that?  In any way she can.  For me, during the upcoming weekend, it’s heading to the beach for a few hours to listen to the waves rush up to the shore.  There’s something calming about being near water, letting it run over your toes and wash over your ankles.  It’s beautiful. It’s the power of nature in rhythm with the world.  It’s a good reminder that we, too, should be in in tune with that natural rhythm but often we get caught up with ‘survival of the fittest’, marketing ourselves, searching out reviewers, publishers, running contests, and trying to figure out how in the world we can gain more fans without declaring bankruptcy.

We put our books and livelihood first when we should put our mental and physical health, friends, family, and living our individual lives first.  It’s time to take a step back, refocus, realize we have support and place love, fun and friendship back into our lives for if we forfit proper care of ourselves to chase down our dreams, we won’t have the energy to pursue them.

Having been stressed out and overwhelmed these past three weeks with not only writing but the monumental task of searching for a home, I am extending to you, my friends, this friendly bit of advice.  Take care of yourself, love yourself for you are worth it.  Everything else will fall into place, naturally and in the proper timing and rhythm specific to you, for your future success.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Live, Breathe, Be

A good friend once told me “All you need to do is live, breathe, be.  Everything is taken care of.”  Wise words from an amazing man.  These are unfailing words to live by and a helpful reminder to us when things get rough or don’t go as we planned and we start feeling stagnant, as a result.

Time moves fast but for those of us who are just starting out, wanting to make it, badly, with a library in our heads of 30+ future novels, time can stand pretty still… a lot.  What you do after hours while waiting for that cover art to finally come through or waiting for a publisher to take notice of your creative masterpiece, makes a big difference for your future.  So, take some time to write a few pages every day or to self-edit your manuscript, instead.  Or… When life gets you down and you feel you’re just taking up space, it might be a good time to organize yourself for success.  Get your whiteboard out and create a plan.  Get your calendar out and set a reasonable schedule for your future projects but know that this time frame can always be adjusted by you or by life events because it’s all about timing.  Your book’s success may not happen when you want it to and if things don’t go according to ‘plan’, it may be you need to “live, breathe, be” and let things occur naturally.

In the meantime, take time out for yourself and re-energize but never let go of the goal.  Sit in a quiet place or blog it out.  Re-affirm your truth and what you want for your future.  You are worthy of every good, even if you can’t see it at the moment due to temporary but sometimes blinding impatience.  Maybe it’s time to build a fan base, run a contest, or network with other authors who can help you with tales of their own experiences.  Talking to others who have experienced the rollercoaster world of writing and becoming published can give us clarity if not, also, several shared moments of laughter.  Every day, though, do something toward your writing career.  Keep it fun and lighthearted to make it work.  When life rolls you out potatoes (long, desert periods of nothingness), sit still with your thoughts, re-affirm who you are and what you want and go ahead and peel those potatoes and make a casserole!  For you deserve the best just like every other author out there trying to make it.

Take care my friends and be well.

You ARE a Great Writer

As a debut author, we aren’t afforded the privileges of an established author. It’s like we’re standing on the outside looking in to another world that has not included us…yet. We struggle, we fight, we think up all kinds of creative ways to advertise and get the word out because we start with a fan base of just a few- usually family members or just ourselves. The world isn’t handed to us on a platter just because we thought we could write and do well at it and it’s hard to make it in this business without continuous marketing and campaigning. We are faced with established writers’ everyday tweeting and posting their successes which make us wonder how we, too, can experience the same.

A perfect example happened this morning. I glanced at an e-mail in my In-box and heavily sighed. There was an announcement stating a book won Best Paranormal Romance Award. My book is a paranormal romance, I think it’s good and I would love to win this type of contest. So, where was my entry? How come I never heard of this contest? I wasn’t even afforded the opportunity and no one nominated me for it. It hurts to know these opportunities pass you by, especially when, as a first time writer you are in the process of learning, struggling and don’t naturally know about these types of opportunities. You dream for the day you’re book wins “best of” something or even makes it on the New York Times Bestseller list. Every day is a learning experience for a debut author filled with ups and downs. Things that come easily to established writers are new knowledge for first time authors, like: contests to enter in our genre, book signing events in our area, good book reviewers to contact or promotional/marketing pros to help us get the word out.

So what do we do in the meantime? We keep plugging along, hoping one day to make it big, trying each day to gain more and more fans and be more noticed. We try to keep doing our best everyday with what little time we have because that’s all we can do.

So after reading about another contest I had no opportunity of winning, I deleted some of my e-mails and read the heading of another one and stopped….

The message said “You ARE a Great Writer.”

Wow. Those words made me pause. They gave me hope. They made me realize it’s not the end of the road for me. Powerful words… Was this a sign? I don’t know. Because this is what I want. This is my dream.  This is what I’ve been working hard for. To be a great writer-  delivering fun, fascinating novels that catch your eye and keep your interest. To share my love and talent with the world. To interact with wonderful fans and get excited over amazing characters in my books.

This sentence, though only five words long, renewed my faith in my ability to write and weave intriguing tales to the general public. So I’m passing this on to you. Don’t give up. Yes, it’s a struggle but keep on doing a little something every day to promote yourself. One author told me something that has never left me: To build your fan base, just keep writing. This sounds good to me because writing is what I do.  It’s who I am.

Take care my friends and be well.

While you are waiting…on that book contract, advice #6- the finale

Hello, my friends.  So… you are still waiting on a contract for that marvelous masterpiece you penned?  Well, don’t get discouraged yet.  Remember, it takes publishers and even agents quite a lot of time to get back to you (on the average).  Sometimes, you won’t hear a word from them and these’ I would safely advise that you cross off your list of hopefuls for if they don’t have the courtesy to contact you, then maybe you should discount them and spend your efforts and energy elsewhere where its appreciated.

In the meantime, though, don’t go pulling all your hair out or turn to nail-biting as a hobby, do something constructive while you wait.  Engage in something positive to distract yourself.

Have you considered…

Editing another book you have almost completed or writing a new novel.

If you started a novel but set it aside to publish another, why don’t you go back to that original work and edit it/complete it to submit it to publishers or agents in the near future?  As a writer,you have to keep doing just that:  writing.  Your fans demand it, crave it and keeping them engaged and interested is a priority.  Plus, we love our fans.  Without them, we would be writing novels for no reason.  We write so that others can enjoy our stories and that makes us happy and gives us a reason to continue our trade.

If you have no other works in process, then consider starting a new novel or even writing a sequel to the book you are aiming to get published.  This will keep up your momentum and maybe even keep the original characters alive in a second book.  It’s always fun when you can do something new and different, so let your creative ideas flow during this long, sometimes torturous waiting period.

Whatever you do, my friends, be patient for good things will eventually happen for you.  In the meantime, take care of yourself, distract yourself and do something fun!

While you are waiting…on that book contract, Advice #5

It’s been a  long while and you’re still waiting, eh?  Well, don’t give up hope yet.  Sometimes life gets you down and you can get discouraged.  But while you’re waiting for that golden opportunity (your book contract) to pop up in your Inbox, have you considered:

— Outlets to vent or expend excess energy while you wait —

It’s always good to do something else, distract yourself in some way  but it doesn’t always work. What does, though, is venting to a good friend as long as you don’t vent too much and too long.  Gather a circle of support consisting of your top friends.  You know who I mean- the ones that would do almost anything for you, that love and support you and want to see you succeed.  Possibly these could be members of your future “street team” later, helping to advertise and get the word out for your book.

Tell them your worries and concerns.  Vent your frustrations.   Give and receive hugs for that is what true friends are for.  To ‘pump you up’, give you renewed energy, strength and courage, make you see the bigger picture when your dreams and goals seem so far away and even, at times, unreachable.  Their varied views, opinions, and honesty will help you sort things out.

If that fails, exercise to relieve some pent up stress.  Take a long walk, maybe even a very long one, listening to your favorite music.  Work out on a machine, take a class, or even work out with your friend (that way you can vent and expend excess energy at the same time).

Whatever you do, do it for yourself and for your general health and well-being.  It’s a long haul from submission of your MS to receiving a contract and it’s not going to get any easier but in the meantime you can have some fun.

Some even vent or stress-release with shopping.  Good idea but take care not to over-spend or then you’ll have the additional stress of owing money.  Sit at a cafe with a friend, go to dinner, visit a local attraction.  Whatever you do, vent and laugh because in the end things will work out in your favor though  I know in the meantime it feels like you’re slowly being tortured and stretched to your limits on a rack.

Take care my friends and don’t give up.  Now is the time to have faith and look forward to your successful writing career.

While you are waiting … on that book contract, Advice #4

Still waiting… trying to remain positive and immersing yourself in other things while the Universe decides which publisher or agent is best to publish/represent your book?  Well, good.  That’s what you should be doing because things will work themselves out in the end, in your favor, even if you have to go the route of self-publishing.  In the meantime, have you thought about:

—  If they want your book, they will contact you or… have you contacted them for an update?

Contacting an agent or a publisher is a delicate, fine line so be careful.  Generally, it is okay to contact an agent or publisher after say, a month to two months after submitting your manuscript; however, I caution you that each representative has their own preferences; therefore, when you are on their website determining how to submit your manuscript, keep a note of which ones are okay to contact, their time frames (if they specify) when you can contact them for an update on the status of your manuscript and which ones state the formal “Don’t contact me, I’ll contact you…if I’m interested in receiving more.”  Please honor whatever they request.

Recently, I contacted a few publishers for an update on the status of one of my manuscripts.  One replied immediately, one after three weeks, and another has not replied yet.  The ones that don’t reply are not always a bad sign.  They may be swamped; however, keep in mind that the ones that don’t respond at all may be trying to tell you something in the end.  For my debut novel, I heard from an interested publisher six months after submission, when I already had a contract.  So, time frames definitely vary but don’t stop what you’re doing to wait for them and when you make that contact, please, only contact them once.  If they haven’t responded, don’t keep contacting them.  Your innocent e-mails requesting information for your own peace of mind could be considered harassment.  You don’t want to give them a bad impression because they will remember you in the future.

I wanted to add something here that astounded me to learn of but is good advice to share.  I read an article recently on submitting gifts with your manuscript….  Please don’t ever do this.  Not only does this turn off publishers faster than anything, this is not a good practice to engage in, at all.  Do you really want your book published simply because your gift was generous?  Wouldn’t it be better to get a contract based on the merits of your well polished manuscript than on whose Hawaiian cruise had better amenities?  You want to be remembered for your work not your bribery.  Please don’t get that desperate, my friends.  There is nothing worth you tarnishing your good name.

After you contact the agents and publishers that said it was okay to contact them, push your notes aside and work on something else in the meantime until they respond back to you.  Remember  in your ‘request for an update status’ e-mail, be friendly (but not too friendly)- be ‘professional friendly’, so to speak and always end your e-mail wishing them a nice day, to take care, or with best wishes.

Until next time my friends, take care of yourselves and keep thinking positive.  Never give up!  Your book will be published when the time is right and the world is ready for your ingenious work.

While you are waiting…on that book contract- Advice #3

Hello my friends.  So…you’re still waiting on that book contract, eh?

By now you probably have received several rejections from agents stating your manuscript “doesn’t fit their list” or they weren’t taken in or wowed by your work.  That’s okay.  Don’t give up.  Remember, you will get a mountain of rejections and it only takes one acceptance to not only put you ‘over the top’ in happy, gleeful mode but also to publish that book you worked so hard on.  Don’t give up my friends. As a recent friend told me about my own two manuscripts I am waiting for contracts (it’s been 2 months going on 3)- “Be patient.  It will come.”  Sound advice.  Still hard to be patient but sound advice, regardless.

So, what else can you do besides twiddling your thumbs, waiting for your life to begin?  Well… have you considered…

—   Reading a good book —-

Now, I didn’t mean taking one of your ‘oldies but goodies’ off the shelf, that you personally wrote, to re-read it.  No.  I meant to read one by an author you like, in the same genre you write.  They say the more you read, the better your writing style because you learn from others’.  Each person is different and approaches writing from different backgrounds, different angles and therefore each author’s writing approach and style is varied too.  So, why not take this time to catch up on that reading list you never got to because you were too busy crafting your masterpiece.  It’s in the hands of those who would publish your book.   Let them take their time reviewing your work and battling it out  as to who is best to publish your book while you forge ahead and work on increasing your skills for your future success.

During this ‘down-time’ do something fun and helpful to add to your knowledge- read and study how authors describe different scenes, portray different actions, like facial expressions, for instance, or what words/descriptors do they use to show (not tell):  hunger, need, and even desire.  There are certain expressions that we do every day with our face that are very hard to put into words to describe to our readers.  I still have great difficulty doing so and, most of the time, have to stop and think about what I am actually doing when I am re-enacting the facial gesture or tic I am trying to describe.

Writing is definitely a creative process- it is art in written form- but it won’t be if we can’t come up with the basics (paint, brush, canvas) in order to create that awesome, vivid, oil painting we have in our heads.  So, read more than one author, determine which authors you like and why.  What is it about that author’s writing that you like?  What are they doing differently than you?  Is it something you can incorporate into your own work?

Till next time, take care my friends and read…read…read.  Reading others’ work will help you hone in on your own style and carve out a better writer in you.

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