The Leftovers

I’ve fallen in love with a show that’s been cancelled.

The concept is rather addicting and I’m all about a good supernatural drama. But even more than the television series itself, the music soundtrack for The Leftovers made the show even that much better. The music left me in pieces.

Utter pieces.

I would be so engrossed in a scene and then slowly, gradually, ever so softly, this melody would creep into my ears. The most pleasant of surprises, and the song would be the perfect piece to the puzzle within the scene.

In that moment, I knew I had to get a hold of the soundtrack and listen to its entirety. And after sitting on my bed cross-legged, headphones over my ears, eyes closed, it was like I had gone through a spiritual awakening.

It left me feeling raw. That if anyone was to look at me in that exact moment, they would see into my soul, and not merely the mask that we sometimes show the world.

Listening brought me joy. The kind of joy that hits you so perfectly, tears spring to your eyes. Beauty. Rawness. Purity. Honesty. Humanity. Inspiration. Peace. It was like everything was supposed to be as it was. This moment was meant to be.

The show was good. The show was great. But my god, my heart, my soul and my ears rejoiced. It was like reuniting with a best friend after what seemed like a lifetime apart.

Can a song be someone’s soul mate? Because if so, I think I’ve found my mate.

I wanted for nothing listening to The Leftovers soundtrack and I am grateful to have been given the privilege of listening to some of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

Max Richter, you are a genius.

I’ll leave you with two of my favourites in the soundtrack and let you in on a little secret.

It’s even better if you close your eyes.

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Life As An Indie Author

I have this tendency of checking Goodreads on a regular basis. I may not post and interact as much as I’d like to, but I do check my author profile.

So as I sift through the many happenings on Goodreads, I notice my overall rating is down. Upon further investigation, I realize it’s from a recent rating of Those Four Letter Words.

Damn, my first one star.

Okay, it’s not my first one star. Been there, done that. But it is my first one star rating for Those Four Letter Words.

Sigh.

Okay, yes, I feel a momentary sting of pain in my chest. I’m only human and that’s a natural reaction to disappointment. I guess I’m not as tough as I portray myself to be around my family and friends. But my writing is that part of me which is vulnerable, and yes I do keep it close to my heart–it took years to actually admit to my friends that I even write books!

I’m over that momentary sting. Of course not everyone is going to like my books, that’s a given. Everyone is and should be entitled to their own opinions. And it’s not like I’ve never given a one star review or hated a book or character for this reason or that. Hate is such a strong word, isn’t it? But differences of opinion is what makes the world go round.

C’est la vie.

But the one star review gave me food for thought, some raw truths. The life of an author has its peaks and its lows.

Peak: self-published my first book.

Low: said book gets pirated on multiple sites.

Peak: people are actually buying my books. Me? This Canadian chick that no one knows.

Low: barely any ebook sales to buy a coffee. Let’s not even talk about print sales.

Peak: cover reveal for Jaded Little Lies happens and people love the cover!

Low: Those Four Letter Words gets its first one star.

That’s just naming a few.

Besides being my birthday next month, December is the anniversary of my first book, Dahlia, being published. That’s three years ago. I’ve come to learn more about myself as a writer and as a person over these past three years.

I’m trying to figure out what I want to do as opposed to do what I’m expected to do with my life. I’ve been going through some life changes and that isn’t stopping anytime soon at this rate. Mind you, it’s not like this one star rating gave me a revelation (although it did give me something to write about).

Starting out, I had this dream of being this amazing writer and everyone would buy my books. That if I worked hard at it (I took a year off to focus on writing and publishing) I could have that dream of being a full-time writer, doing what I love to do. That one thing that makes me feel happy. A wish that many writers have.

A wish that might actually never come true.

I forgot to mention a peak in that makeshift list above.

Peak: meeting other writers and bloggers (well, one blogger in particular who shares my passion for the Walking Dead) that I can seriously say I’ve connected with. These are people that I’ve never even met yet I consider my friends because they totally understand me and relate to me without even meeting me. I just want to say thank you for being a part of my life as an indie writer as it can definitely be tricky.

So in conclusion (I hope I’m not giving you an essay vibe here but I’m paying tribute to the lovely Jade in Those Four Letters Words who has a way with words), I do wonder what the future has in store for me. Writing isn’t something that’s going to disappear from my life. It’s just how the writing will be implemented. As a full-time writer? I don’t know. It’s a nice dream and I’ll keep dreaming.

So how will I deal with my one star rating? Well, the rest of the night will be of me working on Jaded Little Lies and watching Supernatural to dull the slight pain I still have.

Just kidding.

The pain part, not the Supernatural part. I do love me some Dean Winchester. And Sam did just give a shout out to Canada. He referenced a Canadian trucker, but still.

Let’s Talk Four Letters

Let’s talk Four Letters. A series that was first viewed on Wattpad when it wasn’t a series at all, but a rant. Jade Reamer was created when I was in a pissy mood, let’s be honest. Writing was a way to direct all my energy towards and it worked: Those Four Letter Words was created. Now as I’ve said numerous times before, this was nothing more than a rant that developed into me posting weekly chapters online when I realized I had a story. It was a short and sweet novella and I loved it because I enjoy writing short stories since I have a tendency for my mind to wander.

That was it. Those Four Letters Words was over and done.

But apparently Jade’s story wasn’t over. Apparently people liked my little novella and wanted more. And I guess I had more to write.

Enter Jaded Little Lies. My attempt of writing my longest book ever, about 70,000 words. You might be laughing at this moment: 70,000 words? Really, that’s it? Well, like I said, I write short stories: DWI, Reap, Fallen Tears, and Those Four Letter Words are all short stories/novellas. It’s kind of my thing. Dahlia and Rowan are my longest at about 50,000 and 60,000 roughly. So I had it in my head that I had to go long or go home for my next book, and that fell on Jaded Little Lies, my current WIP.

It’s my NaNoWriMo book. I figured it be the perfect time to get back to a story that yes, capped at 30,000. I don’t know if this is with other writers, but I don’t write linearly. I’ve written the beginning and I know exactly what’s going to happen in the end that I thought, why wait, and wrote that as well. It’s the middle that I’m working on. I’m probably the most disorganized writer but I guess that’s what works for me. So I may not be on the NaNoWriMo schedule, but I’m doing my best, and hoping that my goal of finishing this story by the end of the year is a success.

After Jaded Little Lies, I’m planning to write more stories in the series, one featuring Bryn and the other, Connor. Who knows what will come after that.

I’ll leave you with a excerpt from JLL.

Disclaimer: it’s unedited.

I swear I cried for two weeks straight when my best friend moved away when I was five. Allison was her name. She was this petite half Korean, half Jewish girl with the prettiest hair ever and the softest voice that almost sounded lyrical. I remembered the first time I met her. I actually stepped on her hair as she sat on the front steps of the school, waiting for her mom to pick her up.

The moment I realized the tips of my runners were planted on long, luscious black hair, I squawked, backing up.

“Sorry,” I exclaimed.

She turned her face toward me and by the trembling of her lips, I knew I’d be in trouble unless I did something.

“Don’t cry! Please don’t cry. I already made Tyler Price cry this week and mom will be super mad with me if it was two in a week.” I sat down next to her and wiped the potential dirt off the ends of her hair.

“What’s your name, anyway?” I asked, staring into dark eyes which, thankfully, were no longer tearful.

“Allison Ma.”

“Hi, Allison. I’m Jade Reamer, please to meet you.” I raised my hand for her to shake.

She looked at my hand hesitantly before taking my hand in hers.

“Hi.”

I grinned at her. “You don’t talk much, do you?”

“Yes.”

“That’s okay. I can do enough talking for the both of us.”

We were inseparable for that short year, doing everything together. But Allison’s family moved a lot and their time was up in my little old town, her dad getting a position in his company overseas.

Perhaps if she’d have left now, we’d still be in touch with all the social networks out there and texting. But it wasn’t and I cried myself to sleep because my bestie was halfway around the world and even at that young age, I knew she’d eventually forget me.

“Jade, keep your chin up.”

I had been sitting on one of the chairs in the backyard, staring at all the kids that were currently in our swimming pool. Ten-year-old Bryn had decided to invite the entire neighborhood, including Reed, his best friend since forever and was like another brother to me. He wasn’t as yucky as Bryn’s other friends.

Reed was the one talking about my chin.

“It is up,” I said with a frown.

He laughed, taking a seat next to me. He shook his long hair out of his face. “It’s a figure of speech my dad likes to say. ‘Keep your chin up, Reed.’ He says that to me whenever I’m sad or disappointed, like when I miss a shot in baseball. To not be sad.”

“But I can’t help being sad.” I bit my inner lip to prevent tears from falling.

“You’ll make other friends.”

“I don’t want any other friends. I was good with just Allison and Bryn. What am I gonna do now?”

“Well you have me, Jade, you know that. Just call me your Allison.”

I cracked a smile as I stared up into his face. “You don’t look like an Allison.”

“Good. How about I just be your Reed then?” He offered a hand my way.

It was the same thing I had done with Allison but there was no hesitation when I took his hand.

He pulled me forward and picked me up, bringing me toward the other kids. Bryn looked our way, hazel eyes dancing in mischief.

“Throw her in, Reed! Let’s see if Jade sinks or swims.”

Before I could even scream in protest, Reed did as he was told. And as Reed threw me in amongst all the cheers, I wasn’t scared at all. For a moment, I knew what it felt like to fly.

And it was because of Reed.

…………………

Excerpt from Jaded Little Lies by Christina Channelle, release date Spring 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the … Editing?

I’ve been editing the next book in the Blood Crave Series and I’m really excited. I get to read over the adventures that my characters experience and all the crazy relationships they have with each other, whether good or bad. It’s been fun. I think a few of you might be … surprised. I’m putting the manuscript away for a bit and I’ll look over it once more before handing it over to my editor. If you’ve read Dahlia and Fallen Tears, I hope you’ll like this one.

I do want to say congrats to all the winners of the Goodreads and Making Connections Giveaways of both print and ebook versions of my books. I hope you all enjoy!

What I want to talk about today is critiquing your own work—or rather, my own work. As a first time self-publisher, I had the mindset of being able to do everything. “I can edit my own work.”

“I can market my own work.”

I will be accountant, formatter and book designer all wrapped into one. I think I can, I know I can … hear me roar.

Do I still think this way?

No. Way.

Yes, I can take on the majority of tasks. I’ve (hopefully) perfected the art of Mobi files, it’s not too difficult to create a book cover. But there are certain things an author needs in order to self-publish successfully. And yes, I made the rookie mistake.

What was that, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Thinking your family members and your friends are enough to edit your book.

Now, they helped a great deal but it was not sufficient. The funny thing is that I’d have told you otherwise just last month. How things change. I have to admit, I’m one of those gently, softly, hoarsely, finally, leisurely, especially, suddenly, swiftly, impulsively, methodically, type of writer.

I even named one of my characters Lee (totally coincidental by the way).

Moral of the story: it’s a good idea to get help in the quest of becoming an author. I am in awe of my editor and am excited that I found him because he will make me a better writer. And that’s what it’s about, improving your writing. Writing is a passion for me so I do my best to continually improve and grow. So number one lesson that I learned over the past few weeks:

No matter how many times you read over a manuscript, and think it’s PERFECT, a professional editor it KEY when self-publishing!

That being said, Dahlia has been updated, so go to your “Manage Your Kindle” on Amazon and get the updated version.

 

Ramblings of a New Author

Writing. Editing. Writing. Editing. It doesn’t really end now, does it?

I feel like screaming right now. Out of happiness, mind you. I have to admit, this blogging thing is a bit new to me. But, I’m trying it out. We’ll see how it goes.

You’re supposed to write what comes to you in the moment, so that’s the path I’ll follow. I don’t believe my blog will be crazy serious: I’ll comment about my books; any movies I decide to see on cheap-day Tuesdays; books I fall in love with, etc. You’ll definitely be feeling my mood with how I write. What can I say? I show my emotions in my words.

I’m happy that Dahlia is finally published with another story on the way. Despite it being a brand new book by an unknown author, I’m selling! That, in itself, makes me happy. If I can get one reader to buy my book, read it, and think to themselves, “I really liked that,” then I think I’ve done my job.

Now with my second book, which will soon be released, I want my readers to be, “Holy s**t! I can’t wait for more! This just keeps on getting better and better!” That’s my goal.

Hopefully.

Yes, I’m currently editing a novella, which connects to the Blood Crave Series. While Dahlia is book #1, I’d call this book, #1.5. Originally a part of #2, I thought it’d fit better as a standalone. Let me tell you, I enjoyed writing this. It wasn’t even a part of my series, but one day it just came to mind and I began writing. And writing. AND writing.

Now, I wrote this so long ago and thought it was PERFECT. I printed it out; made a few corrections; re-read it again; made MORE corrections; made a teacher friend of mine be by ‘beta-reader’ (I like that word); and made even MORE changes myself.

It doesn’t really end, does it?

Oh, well. I’m just going to have to breathe and let it go. Ignore my OCD-like tendencies and present it to the world.

It’s okay, Christina.

So … when will it be out?

I don’t know. Perhaps by the end of next week, if my formatting works out. The life of an indie author, eh?