Thursday, January 29, 2009


Some hackers had fun with the road signs here in Austin, Texas over the weekend. It was actually pretty damn funny in my book, though the city was pissed off about it. The tv news report on it was amusing, but entertaining. Check out the links on the side. How To Escape a Zombie was really quite cute.
I wish I had scene these signs. I would have died laughing...or rushed home to grab the guns.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As The World Dies: The First Days Nominated For Best Book!!!

This morning I received the news that As The World Dies: The First Days is nominated for Best Book in the fiction category at Mail Order Zombie! I'm so excited. My book is up against some awesome competition, but if you enjoyed the novel and you want to cast your ballot for my novel, I would appreciate it.

It sounds cliché, but it’s so true. It is an honor to be nominated!!

Link to Mail Order Zombie:
Link to ballot:

Edits on As The World Dies: Fighting To Survive Are Done

Tomorrow, I start formatting.

We're getting closer to publication...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cedar Fever or Zombies? Man, I think I'd rather have zombies!!!

Cedar Fever is killing everyone in Austin!

It's so bad this year that the pollen in the air looks like smoke. Just about everyone I know is struggling with the severe allergic reaction called Cedar Fever. The one or two who seem fine make me want to smack them in the face! Ugh!

One friend told me she wants to take a flamethrower to the trees near her home, she's so miserable.

What does this have to do with writing?

Well, I sit at my computer and can't see the screen because my eyes won't stop weeping. I keep having to pause in my typing to sneeze. My head feels so mushy I can barely concentrate.

But, I am still slogging on with the edits! I'm more than halfway through the edits! The first three chapters were a little rough going for me. The second editor had changed up how he was presenting his edits and it ended up causing extra work on my end, then less. So we talked and he sent me a pdf with his suggestions and its been much faster since then. He is so amazing. He managed to revise a line that had just tormented me and make it perfect.

In other news, Dr. Pus has released all the chapters of As The World Dies in one podcast for your listening pleasure! There were some computer glitches that kept me from recording my lines and we had to find two actors to do the roles of Nerit and Ralph. We're back on a role again and I'm so excited. If you're bored at work, check out the podcast.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Fabulous Stephen A. North Has Written A Review of As The World Dies: The First Days!!

The fabulous Stephen A. North, author of Dead Tide, recently purchased my novel, As The World Dies: The First Days, and let me know he was looking forward to reading it. It was definitely a nail biting moment for me! It's a little bit scary when other authors in the genre read your work. Especially when they have the honor of being the first novel published by the Library of the Living Dead press.

So, tonight, when Stephen let me know he was writing an review (the 20th), I was nervous and excited.

Now that I have read it, I'm just excited. What an awesome little review he wrote! It made me grin and I feel fabulous about it.

You can check it out here.

And while you are on, check out Stephen's book here. He deserves a little zombie love, so pick up his book if you haven't so far!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update On As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive

The final requested edits to the cover artwork has been sent to Detra. I'm just waiting for the final version now.

Last night I finished the edits from the first editor and will start on the edits from the second editor tonight. I plan to finish those up this weekend if at all possible. After that, I will do the final formatting on the book and submit it to Createspace.

Once we get the artwork from Detra, we need to lay out the cover and submit it to Createspace for review. If they say both the interior and exterior files are good, we'll order the proof copy of the novel.

What follows after the proof comes in?

The two proof copy editors comb through the book for any last revisions.

What does this all mean?

We're probably on track for an early March publication date.

Can I get an amen?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Nice to Know I Don't Suck

I stumbled across another writer's blog tonight called "The Strangelands" and found out a few things about myself. Namely, that I accidentally deterred Ray, the writer of the blog, from declaring that all female horror writers suck. Or maybe its all women in general.

I really enjoyed his rant. I enjoyed finding out my book ended up at Half Price Books (it's like..getting the full treatment now!). And I enjoyed that Ray didn't hate my book and actually said I did a good job.

I also received some really cool fan emails today. I really needed to hear that people are looking out for the second book. After the migraine last week and the disaster this weekend, I needed a little emotional boost.

Thanks again for all your support!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Amazon Issues Are Resolved

It appears whatever glitch was affecting As The World Dies: The First Days on has been fixed. The book has been on sale steadily since Monday night. As you can imagine, this has been a huge relief.

Even though the paperback was marked as Unavailable, the Kindle sales were really quite good over the weekend. Thank you to the fans that wrote reviews for the Kindle version! A special shout out to Jarron. I think your review last weekend really boosted up the sales. Thank you!

If you have read Pretty When She Dies or As The World Dies: The First Days and enjoyed them, please write an review or your own blog review and let me know about it.

Thanks again to all the fans! You are all awesome!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Amazon.Com is Still Screwy

I'm not sure what is going on anymore. I checked my sales rank and it has improved quite a bit from this afternoon. I'm starting to wonder if the glitch is delaying the reporting of sales to my account.

As for the Kindle sales...they rawked today.

I'm finishing the day with the Kindle book looking like this:

Popular in these categories: (What's this?)

#17 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fiction > Action & Adventure
#36 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fiction > Horror

Saturday, January 10, 2009

UGH!!! I Hate It When Things Go Wrong

As The World Dies: The First Days was part of some weird glitch yesterday that resulted in books being listed as Unavailable for sale even though they really were. This did not just affect my novel, but the novels of quite a few other Independent Authors. I estimate As The World Dies: The First Days was not for sale up to 18 hours. I have to admit being a bit gutted over the whole fiasco.

Sales were really good all last week and yesterday was proving to be the best day of all. Then abruptly sales just stopped. Usually the last book of the day sells sometime in the late evening. This was mid-day. So I checked my listing on and found it was not available. I freaked. Panicked. Fired off an email to tech support. Then calmed down enough to start looking at some of the community boards I'm part of. I found out I was part of a big fuck-up going on with

So, As The World Dies: The First Days fell in its sales rank and this has altered how it comes up in the search. *sighs* It's like having my kid being punished for something she didn't do! I want to go slug someone at Amazon and yell at them for being mean to her. Of course, my more sensible side is telling me to chill out and not worry about it.

Meanwhile, the Kindle sales are way up and doing great. I'm not going to complain there.
It's latest stats look like this:

Popular in these categories: (What's this?)

#31 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fiction > Action & Adventure
#49 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fiction > Horror

I think what got me so crazed about the mess up with is that with this uncertain economy, I would like to hope I could fall back on my book sales for a little financial support if anything were to happen at my job. Not that I think I'm going anywhere, but the consistency of sales was rather reassuring.

Right now I haven't sold a paperback book in 24 hours. It is unnerving. At least my Kindle sales are there to keep me calmer.

Gawd, I'm such a piece of work.

Anyway, enough grousing. I got edits to work on. I got a book to get out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

As The World Dies: The First Days Is STILL AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE No Matter What Says

Today sales were pretty brisk on then they suddenly came to an abrupt halt. When I checked the listing, it read that the books is not available.


I checked in with other Indie Authors and this has been happening all day to them as well. I'm not sure when the listing will be corrected. I did fire off an email to technical support. Hopefully, this will only last a few hours.

The book is STILL for sale via my online store, so if you want to buy a copy, please click on the cover to the novel in the sidebar.

Such a weird glitch!

And just when my migraine was finally gone!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Edits! Edits! And More Edits!!

Edits are a bitch! Oh, my gawth! Ugh.

But I do appreciate the people who take the time to edit my stuff and give me their opinions. It is very hard to see my own goofs. I often see what I think I should have written and not what I actually wrote. Having three different editors (sometimes four) going through my work is always a huge help. One English teacher, two English majors, and a writer/editor all look at my stuff. They all have their strengths and together I feel they give me a well-rounded critique.

As I have said before, if there is a goof up in any of my novels, I probably missed an editing note. I take the blame there. Since As The World Dies: The First Days was our first book, we didn't have our groove yet, so it may not be as clean as I hoped. But considering the amount of typos and other weirdness I find in all the books I've read lately by major publishers, I don't feel we've done too badly.

Yesterday, I showed my husband where in the book I was reading the main character's name was written two different ways in back to back sentences. He showed me errors in a book that has gone through multiple reprints since the 1950's. The typos were never corrected.

But we do not intend to slack off because everyone else is doing it. We actually hope to be even more stringent with any typos (though creative license is used sometimes to build tension in the story) and I know we did a lot better with edits in Pretty When She Dies and As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive.

Again, my best advice to anyone reading this who aspires to be a writer, get someone else to look it over and listen to their critiques.

One more thing...still have the migraine! So I may be slow in responding to emails and the such. The migraine recedes then hits again. It's really awful. My best friend had one for eight days straight that did the same thing. In Austin its Cedar Fever time, so I think everyone is suffering with extreme allergies right now.

In closing, special thanks to my editors. Connie, Kody, Michelle and Julie you rawk it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wearing Sunglasses At My Computer...

No, I'm not trying to be an edgy, dramatic writer.

I just have the killer migraine from hell and the light sensitivity is killing me. In fact, every blind and curtain is drawn in my home right now.

The migraine hit late yesterday toward the end of my work day. I had a sinus headache for a few days and was taking sinus and allergy medication for that. But yesterday, a slow, terrible white explosion went off in the center of my brain and I knew a migraine had erupted. I immediately popped my meds and went to bed the second I got home. I got up a few hours later to eat and felt somewhat better, but the migraine was still there. More meds, back to bed, and it hit like a second tidal wave. of excruciating pain. By morning, it was raging and the slightest bit of light sent me reeling.

More meds, tell work I'm not coming in, back to bed...

Now it's lunchtime and I'm forcing myself to eat (though the migraine has me nauseous and shaky) so my meds don't eat up my stomach and make me feel worse, and hoping to God this is my last migraine of the year. Seriously, this sucker is BAD. Hence, the sunglasses.

Of course, writing this is probably obscenely stupid, but I just wanted to share how ridiculous I am about some of my writing stuff.

For example, I'm sitting here examining the pain, the shakiness, the light sensitivity, the muscle spasms, etc...for a character in the new book I'm writing. She has severe episodes associated with her special abilities and the symptoms of a massive migraine fit pretty well. So as I sit here, trying not to toss up my food and meds, I'm thinking about how to use this in my new novel.

Yes, I'm weird.

And the migraine is getting the best of me. A few more bites, then I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Your kid is ugly and smells weird" a.k.a. Your Character Sux

Characters are a weird part of the writing experience. They're like your children in some ways. You give birth to them, nurture them, help them have a voice, try to guide them through the pitfalls of life, flinch when they screw up, and cheer when they succeed.

You often end up with a big ol soft spot for them.

But, unlike your kids, you can freakin' kill them!

*innocent smile*

(I'm not THAT bad about killing characters. the editor did send me messages about the extremely high death count that occurs in a very short time in ATWD 2. But those characters HAD to zombies were hungry. :)

But anyway, I have characters I love. Adore. Cherish.

And characters I want to throttle because they are so damn annoying.

I even fear a few of my characters. I imagine them in my real life and get a nasty chill down my spine.

Frankly, if any of my characters could suddenly spring to life and go out to lunch with me, I'm not sure I would WANT that to happen. I like them tucked away in my mind's eye, in their proper world, on mute, when I'm not writing about them. The thought of them demanding face time with me over a cup of coffee doesn't appeal to me.

But I do love them all. Even the ones that piss me off and I can't wait to off. I enjoy creating them. I enjoy developing their personalities. It is one of the joys of writing.

Once the story is done, I either post it online or release it as a paperback. In that moment, I have to take a deep breath and believe I did my best by the characters and their story. This is not always an easy moment. Frankly, its terrifying.


Because, in a very short time, the readers start telling you exactly what they think of your carefully crafted "children" and its not always pleasant.

Two characters that have people split are Jenni from the As The World Dies Trilogy and Samantha from Pretty When She Dies. Both were hard as hell to write at times and complicated as all get out in their thought processes. Both tended to do things I did not agree with.

"What the hell are you doing?" I would mutter as I wrote down their actions.

This usually incited my husband to start teasing me about the voices in my head.

They were both hard characters to write and I grew to love both of them, but they didn't always make it easy. Jenni has deep psychological issues because of the rising of the zombies and the loss of her family. Samantha just barrels along through life with her own unique perspective. Because Jenni is not all there, sometimes it was hard for me to understand her motivations at first. She starts out in shock and viewing everything around her with a haze of surreality about her thoughts. When she finally snaps out of it, she becomes a vengeful little hellion determined to kill zombies and protect her "new" family. But under the zombie killer, there are still vestiges of the woman she once was and her sanity sometimes slips. Samantha, meanwhile, just does what she thinks is right. The reader may view her actions as "villainous" and her viewpoint annoying at times, but she is always doing what she feels is absolutely the right thing to do. She believes she's the good guy and I had to love her devotion and determination.

Yet, some readers loathe both of these characters while others adore them. It's a weird feeling to hear one person declare their undying love for Jenni (or Sam) then listen to the next fan trash them. I'm not always sure how to respond to these comments. I always like to hear that a characters is beloved, but not sure how to answer when a character is not. Usually, I just say something along the lines of "Oh, everyone has their favorites" and leave it at that.

Don't get me wrong. I know some people will love a certain characters and others won't. I have read quite a few books where I loathed a character other people simply adored (Edward in Twilight comes to mind) and I just couldn't get what the other readers saw in that character.

But as a writer, I'm not sure how to respond. My first impulse is to defend the character and his/her motives, but that would be a dismissal of the reader's opinion. And that's just not right. My second response is to somehow explain the character, but again, this is just a bit condescending on my part, I think. So I guess my default response will have to do for now.

Of course, what is always fun is when I kill a reader's favorite character off...

By the end of the trilogy, I'm gonna get a earful!

Maybe I should start memorizing my appropriate responses now!