31 May 2013

Changing Tides in the Book World

Good news on the book front--for readers and writers. Book sales are growing in all formats.  There are more independent bookstores opening, more independent authors publishing, and more online venues to buy books. As Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes in her blog, Traditional publishers forgot their market targets really were READERS, not big bookstores:

"In the early 2000s, I had books rejected by big publishers with these comments. We love it, but we know we can’t sell this title to Walmart. We love it, but we checked with the buyer for Borders, and he doesn’t think the book will sell so we must decline. I’m not the only writer who experienced such things. When your business model is based on selling to ten or twenty people who act as the only gateway to millions of consumers, then those ten or twenty people wield a disproportionate amount of power."
Read the entire post. It's quite interesting. 

And while you're at it, tell a friend about my books. They're great summer reads! (wink wink, nudge, nudge)

24 May 2013

Seven Dress Sizes

 It's out now and available for Kindle AND as a paperback--

What is the worth of a woman? What is beauty? Depending on culture, commercialism, family, or our peers, men and woman have allowed society to dictate the worth of a woman based on nothing more than the outer shell of her existence.
There is no perfect number. No measurement or shape is safe under the judgmental eyes of the world.

No eyes can judge a woman as harshly as her own.

Seven Dress Sizes takes you into the lives of seven different struggles of modern females in a full scope of shapes and sizes, struggling to find the key unlocking self worth, acceptance of beauty and natural confidence.

I am thrilled to be involved with this project along with six other wonderful authors:
Dawn Kirby, Michelle Horst, A.T. Russell, Tina Carreiro, Jennifer Welborn, and La-Tessa Montgomery.
 So much of our lives is governed by how we see ourselves. Must we all fit into the same pattern--and what is "ideal" anyway? This book shares seven tales of what it's like to be too skinny, too fat, and everything in between on the journey of learning to love the essence of one's own self, despite the mirror.

My story is called "The Well-Rounded Woman"--the story of Dian Monroe, a so-called "fat girl" growing up and getting larger despite every diet she's ever tried. No one notices her wit and intelligence as she tries to blend into--no, actually become--the background. One chance is all she wants...but will she ever get it?

 You can read more about all the authors on Jennifer Welborn's lovely blog.

18 May 2013

Researching Away From Home

Research is fun for me. i love digging into the past. Oh, I know a lot of information can be found on the Internet and yes, sometimes I take advantage of that. But in order to transport my readers to a place, I need to be there. Walking the streets, smelling the aromas, seeing how the light plays on water and trees...you can't get the feel of a place from the Internet.

Last week, I trudged the streets of Boston. My intention was to stop in at the Massachusetts Historical Society on Boyleston Street. We passed by it on the walk back to our hotel from a Red Sox Game at Fenway Park. I was sure I could get there by opening time the next morning, which was Saturday--and our last day in the city. Our plane was scheduled to take off that afternoon.

It would have helped if I could remember left from right or orient east from west. Stepping out the front door of the Westin Hotel, I turned right, confident that if I simply strode along Boyleston I'd see the Historical Society's front door to my left in a matter of minutes.

An hour (and three miles) later, I paused at the Boston Harbor waterfront, rather confused that Boyleston had morphed into Essex Street and I hadn't seen any indication of nearing Fenway's Green Monster. D'oh. Shoulda turned left, not right. I had now lost an hour of precious time, it would take me another hour to walk back to my starting point, plus another fifteen to twenty to get where I wanted to be. Damn. I had to find the nearest "T" (Boston's subway) station and head back to Copley Square.

Unfortunately, it was the weekend and the next train was a twelve minute wait at Tufts Medical Center. By the time it arrived and I connected to the Green Line back to Copley, I'd blown my chance to peruse newspapers of the 1770s or look up little local tidbits. I was bummed.

But I still had lots of good information I'd gathered from the previous two days. Walking along the fens of Fenway, the expanse of Boston Common, and going below decks of the ships at the Tea Party Museum gave me delicious details of Boston's environs during the Revolution. 

If you have the opportunity to visit Boston, I highly, strongly, fervently recommend the Boston Tea Party Museum. It's a guided and interactive tour with actors portraying luminaries such as Samuel Adams (below) and visitors are encouraged--nay, pressed--to join in the fun by being assigned roles.

And it's quite technologically current. Portraits of King George III and Mr. Adams speak and move much like the portraits in the Harry Potter films. They even have one of the two surviving original tea chests thrown overboard by the enraged citizens that April night, found the next morning by a young man and passed down through the generations of his family with the documentation as "a box worth keeping."

If I get the chance to go back, I will in a heartbeat. And this time, I might get the directions right.