Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Drawings for Wind of the Spirit!

Hey, everyone, I have interviews coming up on several different blogs during the next few weeks. Here’s a schedule so you can check them out! Each blog is offering a drawing for a free copy of Wind of the Spirit, so comment on the post and you’ll be entered!

February 25, Today! I’m guest blogging about dreams on Jennifer AlLee’s blog This, That, and the Other Thing. Head on over right now for a shot at a free copy!

February 26 Lena Nelson Dooley, A Christian Writer’s World

March Afictionado E-zine

March TBD Tyora Moody ChristianBookwormReviews.com

March 5 Novel Journey

March 10 Favorite PASTimes

March 12, 8:15 a.m. KREJ 101.7 FM Kelly Long Proverbs 31 Wannabe Club (The station covers southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma; call in to enter: 620-886-3537)

March 13 Amber Stockton Spotlight Interview. Hope baby doesn’t come early!

March 15 Wind of the Spirit is featured this week on Christian Authors Network You’ve Got Books fiction blog.

Naturally I’ll post any future appearances, interviews, and announcements as they come up!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Delivery!!!

Wind of the Spirit is here! As you can see from the photo at left, I finally have this particular dream in my hot little hands, and I am one proud mama!!! Believe me, no matter how many books you publish, you still feel the same excitement when a new release arrives! And this book is GORGEOUS! It’s one thing to see the cover on my computer screen, but to see it in “real life” on the actual book is something else altogether. The interior is gorgeous too, with text that’s clear and easy to read.

I’ve even had my first book signing already!!! We picked up a couple of cartons of the books at the printer Friday afternoon for my own personal stash. Yesterday we had lunch with our Good Sam camping chapter, so naturally we brought copies along. Several of the members are following the series, and as the meeting broke up, Jay announced that they were available. I sold 11 copies, the first official sales! The only fly in the ointment is that I had a senior moment when I came back home from Georgia, and I left my beautiful bookmarks down at our winter digs in Perry. So I’ll have to mail them to those who bought a copy of the book when I get back down there.

Now I need to get busy finishing up several blog interviews I have scheduled for March. Yikes! This month is almost gone already and I seriously need to buckle down. I also need to prepare mentally for a radio interview I’m doing with Kelly Long on KREJ 101.7 FM in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, which serves southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. In case you happen to be in that area on March 12, tune in at 8:20 a.m. We’ll be talking especially about One Holy Night and Vietnam, but we’ll touch on my series too. Radio is something I have no experience with, and my stomach clenches at the very thought. It sounded much less intimidating when I scheduled it several months ago, but that’s always the case for me with things like this. I’m much braver when the event is a bit of a distance in the future. So this should be interesting!

If my foray into radio turns out halfway decently, I’ll see if I can get a recording to post as a podcast on my Web site and blogs. I am soooo behind on all these technological bells and whistles everyone else has been using forever. There’s always something else to figure out, and my brain can only handle so much!

Also ahead: the big task of mailing out reviewer and influencer copies. And I need to open up WOTS for sale on the shopping cart, then have Sheaf House webmistress, Peg Phifer, put the link up on the Sheaf House site. No luck so far on getting it up on Amazon, though my distributor is working on that. Apparently there’s some kind of glitch in the system somewhere. But at least it’s available for pre-order on CBD and Barnes and Noble. CBD ordered their initial copies way back in November or December, and since they’re finally in the warehouse, the distributor should start fulfilling orders soon.

By the time I get back to Perry next week, I should also have delivery on the fabulous postcards for the series that Dineen Miller designed for me, so those will need to go out to libraries and retailers asap. I’ve got a pile of promo to do, plus I need carve out a block of inviolate writing time each week and get back to making progress on my own projects. As if that weren’t enough, Jay thinks we need to go to Christian Book Expo, so that’s suddenly popped up on the agenda for next month.

Peg mentioned that she needs a deadline to motivate her to write, and I’m the same way. So it occurred to me that I need to set a deadline to finish Northkill and another to complete Crucible. I’m hoping I can make great strides in finishing the first draft of Northkill this summer and have it ready for editing by the end of the year. Then I’ll be able to focus on Crucible. I’d like to put a pub date of 2011 on it, but more likely it’ll be early 2012—and that’s really not that far away. Time has a way of just zipping by.

I still have a considerable amount of research to do for book 4, and a bit more for Northkill as well. Thankfully the first quarter of that project is complete and in pretty good shape, and I hope it won’t take me too much longer to finish the rest. The challenge is to plug the dike against any leakage of other stuff into my writing time. But with my partner, Joy DeKok, handling all the advertising and promotion for Sheaf House now, that should open up a few hours each week to devote to my writing projects. I’ve been missing the discipline of putting words into that computer file, and I’m champing at the bit to get back at it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Definitely a Go!

Earlier this week, my account rep at Christian Book Distributors e-mailed to ask me for a detailed 60-90 word summary for Wind of the Spirit. Hmmm . . . they wouldn’t be asking for that unless WOTS was definitely on track to be featured in their summer fiction catalog! Needless to say, I’m thrilled!

Just as exciting, Joy DeKok, our marketing and promotions expert at Sheaf House, is working on an ad campaign for our spring list, and WOTS will be featured in a full-page Sheaf House ad on the back cover of Home School Digest’s spring issue. It includes the covers of the first 2 volumes and a blurb about the American Patriot Series directed toward homeschooling parents and students. This is a giant step toward accessing a market we’ve been wanting to reach.

And wait until you see the postcards Dineen Miller is designing for me! They’re gorgeous! I can’t wait to send them out to libraries and bookstores and tuck them into copies of WOTS I sell personally so they can be handed on to others. Dineen is attempting to shoehorn the text I sent her into the available space—I ended up trimming it down again, and hopefully this time it’ll fit. Not that I tend to be wordy or anything! LOL! We’ll have just the essentials on the front, but once I upload it into VistaPrint’s template, I’ll squeeze in as much information on the back as I can, and then it’s off to the printer!

I also heard from a new fan this week who just finished Daughter of Liberty and Native Son and wanted to make sure WOTS is on track for the March release date. Indeed it is! We’re expecting delivery to the warehouse by the 20th. How exciting is that?!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Time for a Bit of Celebration!

There are a couple of exciting developments to report. First, Wind of the Spirit went to the printer, the proof came and was sent back with approval, and the print run will happen any minute. We’re right on track for that March 2 publication date.

Second, a week or so ago, my account rep at Christian Book Distributors had several questions for me because they were interested in possibly including WOTS in their summer catalog. I played it cool and gave him a more info than he asked for to make sure he impressed the catalog folks. Today I got an e-mail from the lady who sends me their POs when they order from Sheaf House. She asked for a cover image of WOTS and noted that their catalog department needs it.

Wooooooo hoooooo!!!!!! I’m pretty confident that means WOTS is going to run in the summer CBD fiction catalog!!! It’s already on their site for preorder. Just click on the link above. It’s also available for preorder on Barnes and Noble, though not yet on Amazon. But things are hopping. As you can tell, I can hardly contain myself! LOL!

Okay, enough celebration. Back to work. I need to get busy finishing up the interviews I have scheduled for a number of blogs, starting this month, and preparing for a radio interview coming up in March—more details on those later—and digging into some serious promotion. Unless something else really fabulous shows up between now and then, I’ll update this blog again when I have those copies of WOTS finally in my hot little hands!

I just can’t stand the suspense!!