Only 5 more days!

It’s a funny feeling, being this close to having my first book officially launched and out in the world. I’m pretty giddy. And I do weird things when I’m giddy, like making odd faces even when I don’t know it. My mind has gone to another place–I’m barely present. I’d make a good zombie for Halloween.

My whole marketing plan took a snotty beating this year with Covid 19 changing everything, but I’m not tossing in the towel. Instead, I’m tossing a last-minute hail Mary. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

Truthfully, this book almost didn’t happen. There were days where I remember lying awake in bed asking God what the heck what going to happen to this fancy new “career” I’d set out to start. Like, why this year? Why did I have to decide to publish a book the same year the pandemic hit? Why couldn’t I have waited another year or two before setting out to make this happen? If only I would have known.

Those were the questions I asked God over and over. But there are so many cool moments where it was so clear the Holy Spirit was in control–I’d keep you here all day reading if I tried to type them all out. It was hard, but now that everything is done, I feel like it was SO WORTH IT.

I’ve also realized along the way that I’ve done a crummy job at keeping everyone in the loop. I love to send updates, but frankly, my memory is garbage and I keep forgetting to actually tell all of you what’s happening.

Well, here’s what’s happening!

Everything for the book is DONE. I’m so relieved to say that because there were so many last minute do-overs and there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I kept running out of time for everything. This book would have been finished back in July if the Covid pandemic hadn’t changed things, but it’s a part of life now. Everything just took way longer than they should have–so what? If there’s one thing I know–it’s that God’s timing is perfect. Yes, I have only a few weeks this Christmas season to sell a book that I should have been able to spend all year marketing and promoting, but I’m going for it anyway. In some ways, it’s a relief to only have to spend a few weeks marketing instead of half the year. I’m straight-up tired and I think I’m ready to turn off my brain for a while and spend time with my family this December.

My book launch is this coming Monday night! If you want to join the event on Facebook, here’s the link: Official Book Launch of ASACAF

As part of my “Hail-Mary last-minute-marketing weeks,” I’m attempting to put together an online Facebook tour, since physical tours aren’t exactly possible. I have a few fun gifts for anyone willing to help. (Visit www.winterpublishinghouse.com if you want to get in on that.)

Please keep me in your prayers this next few weeks as I try to get this book into the world. Unlike most books, mine has a very brief window for promoting it, since it’s Christmas themed (and no one wants to buy or read a Christmas book from January-September.) But, alas, it’s the choice I made! I’m a sucker for Christmas; can you blame me?

The last thing I want to let you know is that I’ve written a novella (which is a short story) that takes place in the realm of Winter–the universe A Soul as Cold as Frost is set in. This novella, called “Harmonies,” will be a part of a book of short stories I plan to publish in 2022, but I’m planning to send the ebook (or a PDF version) to all of my subscribers for FREE this November in honour of my book launch! So if you get a random link to a random book–just know it’s not so random!

Thank you for reading my update! Wish me luck at the book launch on Facebook this Monday night!

Funny Story

Well, friends, it’s happening.

I’ve dragged myself through parts of this process, and I’ve skipped like a giddy schoolgirl through other parts, but I’m so close to having everything ready that I can practically taste all the wintery flavours I’ve jam-packed into this book. I can’t wait for the world to have it, I can’t wait to talk about it with everyone who reads it, and I cannot WAIT to hold a paperback copy in my own hands–every author’s dream, I think.

This month has been another busy one–go figure–but I’ve set up my Author Page on Goodreads, and my Author Page on Amazon, and the formatting is complete for both ebook and paperback! Wahoo! If you were a beta reader or an ARC reader of my book, please leave me a review! It’s how author careers stay alive!

Through a fun accident, my ebook is actually already available for pre-order… *palm to forehead* and unfortunately I can’t take it down without suffering a penalty from Amazon. So, whatever, Merry Christmas! My ebook can now be ordered on Amazon.com/.ca and Chapters Indigo, and Barnes and Noble, and likely several other places but it would just be annoying for me to list them all and make you read through every one. If you purchase my ebook, it will be automatically delivered to your e-readers on November 2nd, 2020!

My paperback will be available for pre-order in August on the regular schedule, permitting I’m able to figure everything out to get it there – it’s still in the approval stage with IngramSpark. Please pray that this process all goes smoothly, since I’m clearly losing my mind with everything on my brain since I’ve already botched the ebook launch. Typical.

Anyway, that’s my funny story (obviously not that funny.) I’m currently trying to complete the paperback process, revamp my website, build a new website for my publishing company, AND… I’ve begun writing Book 2 of The Winter Soul Series! *high fives all around* And boy oh boy… there are plenty of surprises in this one!

Thanks for reading! You’ll hear from me again soon–either when the paperback is available, OR when I inevitably botch something else…

Writing A Book With Kids (WABWK)

Is it just me, or when a parent decides to set out and do something non-kid related, it’s that exact moment all your kids decide to wind up and hoof you in the teeth? It’s as if they’re unanimously agreeing, “How dare you think of anything on this planet apart from us?”

My kids are my greatest treasures, but some days…

Some days they’re also the little turds who decide to raid your makeup cabinet and draw all over their body with lipstick three minutes before you need to leave for church, or dump an entire box of cereal into the floor vent to “hide it for later”, or rip off their diaper to sit and wait on the carpet for their diarrhea to come out. I’m certain they do all of these things, “just so mommy can’t write her book today.”

There is no good argument for why I should be allowed to complain after the years we spent praying for our children to come into this world so we could have a family. I don’t regret it, nor will I ever, but I can sure as heck rat them out when they’re being turds. It’s my own personal therapy.

It’s been a few fresh beats since I gave an update, but know that even though you’ve been experiencing radio silence about my upcoming book, there has been a whole lot going on at this end. There are mountains to climb if I want to see my indie book hit shelves this year.

This novel is one I wrote several years back, so when I hauled it out of storage, it was pretty dusty and needed some major polishing. The rewrite took the longest, weeks to be exact. But I got smart and started making lasagnas ahead of time to store in my freezer for the days I wouldn’t have time to make supper. Burning the midnight oil became my thing, and because of those late nights I finally finished the rewrite of my book so I could send it off to beta readers and get feedback. I’ve gotten heaps of valuable feedback from my readers and took plenty of notes. Based on all this golden advice, I get to rewrite sections of the book again. After hunting for the right editor and scoring a great one, I’ve booked in my manuscript with her for the end of March. I was confident in the date when I first booked it, but now I’m positive this deadline is going to creep up on me if I don’t keep pace. *Cue whip sound effect*

While I’m telling myself to stay focused on book revisions, I’m also betraying my own advice and working on the cover art. Someday soon there will be a cover reveal, but not yet. I can’t actually finish the cover art until I’ve formatted the book interior because, in Amazon’s graphic designer speak, “the page count will affect the length of the book spine.” That means, no diving into the grueling hours of formatting the book interior until I’m completely finished the manuscript (I have to finish my revisions based on beta readers feedback, then it goes to the editor, then back to me to revise AGAIN, then back to the editor for final touch ups, then I can format the book interior, then I can do the cover art). This is the part where some might cry, but you all know my more likely reaction is to laugh like a madwoman until someone’s coffee gets spilled.

It might come as a surprise, but I’m not even bothered by the challenge, or the late nights, or the kids crapping on the floor and running through it in bare feet. Even though it’s a whirlwind, and my kids are sanity-eating monsters, it’s life-changing for me to be able to navigate this publishing maze. I’m fully prepared to botch it the first time around, I’ll probably print it with the cover on backwards or something stupid like that, but I’m hoping all this hard work to blaze a trail through the publishing jungle will make it a hundred times easier when I go to do it again.

So far, 2020 is dragging me around like someone who wiped out on water skis an hour ago and the boat just keeps moving. With an audience.

I need to say a massive thank you to the three beta readers that have gotten back to me so far with notes, you have all been so amazing and encouraging. I’m overwhelmed by the valuable feedback and all the critiques.

Once again, I’m asking all of you reading this for your prayers as I kick down every new obstacle in this jungle. I will post other fun updates as they land in my lap.

Drop a comment if you have anything to say about this, or if you just want to heckle me in general. Bring it on.

Peace.

 

 

Into the Publishing World and onto the Shelf

Not every book I write has the fundamentals of my faith interwoven into the fabric of the story. In fact, most of the novels I write are just cool stories. For my debut, however, I wanted to choose one that hit a little closer to home.

Yes, I’m going to attempt to publish a book this year. (Can I get a hallelujah?) I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m not even promising that it will happen, but I’m going to try. I do still have kids at home and most days I feel like someone who wrangles bulls for a living; trying to keep everyone fed, the floors poop-free, and contain them in their pens during nap time. But here’s to the “I’m going to go for it anyway” attitude.
If it doesn’t happen this year, I’ll try again next year. But I have a good feeling about 2020.

As I toss around my ideas for the book title (sometimes out loud by accident – my family loves my maniac one-sided conversations) I try to consider everything. The novel I’ve chosen to publish this year is a young adult urban fantasy Christmas novel, currently titled, PEPPERMINT. The idea behind the title is that regardless of what time of the year it’s being read, I want the reader to feel like they’ve been hit with a tiny burst of cold, which, if you have ever noticed, is precisely what happens when you eat a mint.
But the title has little to do with why I chose this novel as my debut.

When I was younger, my dad used to read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis to me and my siblings before bed. We would heap onto his comforter and go quiet for hours (which was rare for us – I had two sisters so you can imagine the daily scream-fights.) Every time he finished a chapter, we would come up with calculated arguments, or sometimes just straight up begging, for him to read another chapter. I’m not telling you about this childhood memory to stimulate warm gushy feelings, I’m bringing it up because it was a tradition that took me on adventures every night before bed. It was an exciting time for me as a kid, to be able to bond with my family over a story we all loved. Even if I couldn’t agree with my sisters on anything else, like whose turn it was to get ready in the bathroom in the morning, or whose turn it was to clean a certain room for Saturday morning chores, or even who stole whose stuff, we could all agree on Reepicheep. And Aslan. We could all get swept away to Narnia.

That marked the beginning of my obsession with other worlds.

The simple Calder family tradition (that may or may not have become a tradition by accident) fuelled my inner book nerd and is something I think about all the time these days, because now I have kids. It shouldn’t come as a shock that I want to carry on the tradition with them. There’s something magical about gathering, listening, staying up late just to hear what happens next. I want my children to go on those same adventures, to fall asleep with their minds on brave characters, to create those same bonds with each other over stories. I think with what’s become of this world, with technology sabotaging authentic relationships at every turn, it matters that we start traditions where we can spend real unplugged time with our kids.

I first started writing Peppermint when I had my son five years ago. This book, in a lot of ways, is for him. I imagined pulling out this old Christmas book every season and reading our way through the evenings of the twelve days before Christmas, with snow blowing against the windows and our toes toasting by the fire. Now I have three kids, because frankly, it just took me that long to finish writing and revising the book (oh wait, I’m still revising it), but now I’m getting it ready to go out into the world and share the message of hope. To hopefully start new traditions in other homes, while I pull out my book every year and start a tradition in mine.

My faith plays a role in this one. It’s hard to talk about faith these days, and people are especially against it at Christmas time (and with some of the stories I’ve heard about people’s encounters with the church, I don’t blame them.) But to give them a book at Christmas with no strings attached? I think I can handle that. A present never hurt anyone, even people who have different beliefs. That’s my way to share hope at Christmas 2020.

And just like that, you have all my reasons for my choice.

Just pray I can get my book done and published before the fall.

(No seriously. I will take all those prayers.)
Peace.