Friday, January 29, 2016

A New Way to Celebrate Your Love For Ilyon

So, I mentioned in my post on Monday that I had a little project I was working on and hoped to share this week. It actually turned out to be more of a big, time-consuming project, but I finally have it more or less ready. If you’re like me, you enjoy proudly showing of your love for certain fandoms, whether it be t-shirts, posters, or other accessories. Well, I wanted to offer that for anyone who wants it in my Ilyon fandom! For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been putting together some cool designs and have just opened a CafePress and Zazzle shop! Each shop has its different advantages and items. The cool thing about Zazzle is that any design that you like you can get on virtually anything of your choosing, while a couple of things are a bit cheaper on CafePress. Between the two, you should be able to find something you like if you want to pick yourself up a little Ilyon merchandise. I’m already planning to buy myself a few things. ;) I will also be adding more things to my shops over time, including writer inspired accessories, so definitely check in periodically! And there are products for both girls and guys! :)

So what about you? Do you like showing off your fandom love?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Updates, Awards, and a Release Date

I feel like life has been crazy for the last half a year. I’ve probably used the word “crazy” in my last several blog posts and emails. However, finally, I feel like that craziness might be calming down some now, at least for a few weeks. One of the biggest things to thank is that I FINALLY finished editing Samara’s Peril!! *happy dance* I sent it off to my beta readers on Saturday. One of them already finished it. :) Now we’re laughing over how both of us (she’s an author too) always torture our main characters. Or maybe we shouldn’t be laughing… *shrugs*

Anyway, now that SP is out of my hands, I have a whole glorious month where I don’t have to think about it. I REALLY need that break. Now I can actually do some writing. I’m working on a short story that takes place after book five of Ilyon Chronicles. One of my characters went and fell in love without my permission. Now I have to tell their story. So book six is temporarily on hold while I get this story finished. I love it though. The couple is absolutely adorable. ^_^

Oh yeah, I mentioned a release date in the post title. Now that SP is well on it’s way to publication, I can finally set a release date! I have decided that Samara’s Peril will be officially published on May 13th!

It’s a Friday instead of a Tuesday this time. I figured all you awesome readers would appreciate having the weekend to read it. ;) It’s a bit later than I was hoping to publish it, but that’s how life goes. I probably could have published it in April, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get things all perfectly set up. April will be slightly busy anyway. My cousin, who’s like the sister I never had, is getting married!! So I’ll be away for a couple of days for that. :)

And now for the awards part. I’m a bit behind in sharing this news (you know, all that craziness), but Resistance has won the Illumination Awards Enduring Light gold medal for Christian Ficiton! I still squeal with excitement when I think about it. Especially since it’s the Christian Fiction category, not just fantasy. Also, fellow author Nadine Brandes won the gold in YA fiction! Yay for Christian fantasy doing so well!!
And this is even older, though I just found out recently, but The King’s Scrolls won best book in the 2015 Blogger Book Awards hosted by Allison at The Art of Storytelling. I am so honored! *gives a big virtual hug to everyone who nominated TKS*
Blogger Award Framed, by Hannah Williams
So there’s all the latest in my author life! I’m also working on a little project that I’m hoping to share sometime later this week, so stay tuned. I just have to iron out the last few wrinkles and get it spiffed up and ready to go. ;)

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Special Sneak Peek

I hope everyone is having a great start to their new year! As I mentioned in my last post, the holidays were crazy for me, but life is settling down again, which means I've been able to re-devote my time to editing. Initially, I had hoped to have Samara's Peril about ready to publish by now, but it just kept getting pushed back. Now I'm tentatively looking at an April/May release. Maybe even March if things go swimmingly (which is unlikely, but one can hope :). Everyone has been so patient and supportive, so I wanted to offer a special sneak peek at the first chapter of the book! It more or less sets the theme for the entire book. Just click on the link below to read it! (And keep in mind that it will still got through all my beta readers and proofreader before the final version.)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Life Got Real—Reflecting on 2015 and Looking Ahead at 2016

It wouldn’t seem right not to have a post celebrating the new year. 2015 was a crazy year. The best way I can describe it is that life got real. It was a pretty good year, but it totally overwhelmed me. You see, in 2015, I ceased being just a writer—I became a businesswomen, forced to juggle more things than I had the time to accomplish. During the last year, my Etsy jewelry business really took off and became more than I ever imagined it would be. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that, since it is now a huge part of my income, but it is a LOT of work. From just before Halloween all the way through Christmas, I was spending 3-6 hours a day filling holiday orders. At first I was ecstatic. After about a month, I really started to dread every order notification. The work was overwhelming. All I wanted was to go back to being “just a writer.” Being an author and being an Etsy seller are two full-time jobs. Somehow, I have to manage both. This is why I haven’t made as much progress in getting Samara’s Peril ready for publication as I’d hoped. I’ve had to keep pushing back my hope-to-publish dates. I’ve spent little, if any, time on Goodreads and my forum. I’ve barely blogged. I burnt myself out.

But I am still incredibly grateful for the way God has provided the opportunities and success in my goal to be completely self-employed. I wouldn’t trade it. Now what I have to do is figure out a better way of managing it. That’s what 2016 will be about. I have to figure out exactly how to schedule time for both writing/publishing and Etsy. (Not to mention just living life!) I’ve already taken some small steps to do that. And for those of you desperately waiting for Samara’s Peril, it is coming! Now that the holidays are over and I have a chance to breathe, I’m getting back into editing this week. I am over half done. I’m hoping to get it to my beta readers this month yet. (Though I’m learning that I really can’t ever make definite plans like that. God might have different plans.) I am very tentatively hoping for a March/April release if all goes very smoothly, but sometime in May/June might be more realistic.

I have no idea what 2016 will bring, especially after last year. All I know is that organization will be the key to not getting so overwhelmed, and I’m not going to make too many set plans because things constantly change.