All about Helping…

This month our topic was, well, there was no topic. It’s a “freebie” month. Scene13ers get to blog about anythingFirst Cover Reveal!they want. Well, normally I don’t like freebies. I freeze. I over-think until I can’t think. I stress myself out to the point that my stress is stressed. But this month something really great happened and I want to share.

Last month I shared that I signed a contract to publish my first young adult contemporary romance, “Unspeakable.” Now I have a novella, “Finding Willow,” releasing, too. But as great as that is, it’s not what I want to write about.

When I wrote my debut novel, “PODs,” I knew nothing about the writing community. I didn’t use critique partners or Betas—I didn’t know what a Beta was! I had no idea there were bloggers that lived to review books, nor did I know how many there were.

But writing “Unspeakable” I had a group of ladies who read my work and told me honestly what worked, what they liked, and what they loved. Man, that was a great feeling to hear them gush over my book! Then came the second half of their email… “And this is what sucks…” Well, that let the air out of my balloon.

Second Cover Reveal!

Second Cover Reveal!

So I read their critiques, did some rewriting and had some Beta readers take a look, mainly girls the age the book would be marketed toward, and of course my group of critique partners.

Their suggestions made a huge difference. “Unspeakable” went from a good book, to a great (IMHO) book. And I realize now how essential, how priceless my CPs and Betas are in my writing career.

But there’s one other group of people other than the bloggers who are golden to authors, CPs and Betas who are priceless, and that group is other authors.

I had two cover reveals in a week. I found out about both the day before. Whoa. So I started emailing anyone I could think of that might help. And the response was Amazing. Many of you already know this because you blog here, and you stepped-up and helped. I want to tell you, you are AWESOME.

The authors that dropped everything to set-up a post at the very last minute—twice—just rocked. The way they came together to help really showed me how tight the bond is between authors. Well, how it should be, anyway.

I love helping other authors. I keep a blog for that reason, and only that reason. But to have it turned around and the help focused on me was a very prodigious experience. And for those of you who helped, thank you. You made my cover reveals awesome.

How about you? Have you ever had a time when you needed help and authors or bloggers jumped in?

It's time to read!

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Christmas in July…

I had a totally different topic for this month, but I’ve been side-railed in the best way and I have to share it. Today I can officially announce that I signed with Clean Teen Publishing to publish my debut young adult contemporary romance: “Unspeakable!”

I’m so incredibly excited—it’s like Ch

Signing my contract with Clean Teen for "Unspeakable!"

Signing my contract with Clean Teen for “Unspeakable!”

ristmas in July. Or an early birthday present (mine’s in August). Either way, I’m over the moon. Unspeakable is one of those books that just touched me. I fell in love with the characters and their story. It was a book I really wanted published and I feel so blessed that I have that opportunity, especially with the great team at Clean Teen. They are wonderful!

So now I have a favor to ask of you. I need a street team and I need help building one. So if you could help me start it, name it, advertise it, give tips on creating a database for it and a google document, just about anything would be awesome because I’m totally starting from scratch and I’m really not sure how to start. If you have any ideas on a name, that would help. A lot of authors use their name somehow. I haven’t found a combination I like yet, so I’ve started using my nickname, “Mac.” A lot of you know my father passed away a year ago and never got to see my first book published. He was the only person who called me Mac. So it’d a tribute to him.

Anyway, getting way off topic. So Christmas in July…I got a book contract. What good news do you have? And remember, sometimes the smallest thing can be the biggest gift.