The Masks We Wear

Putting on a mask. We all did it.

It wasn’t some strange occurrence that only happened to X, Y, and Z. We all hid things from the world; it was just how we were. I mean, it wasn’t like we meant to do it. It was more of a natural phenomenon, like saying “bless you” after someone sneezed, or stopping at a red light. A reflex if you will.

Here were some examples:

The man a couple cubicles over could have just lost his daughter in a custody battle, yet still brought cookies to work on a weekly basis. The old lady from next door could secretly be in a toxic relationship with her spouse of fifty years, name calling and such. Yet she smiled widely in greeting with the flick of a delicate wrist whenever you saw her each and every morning in the elevator on your way out. Your boyfriend could be hiding dark demons of his own behind kisses that made you moan, whispered promises in your ear, and that oh-so-amazing grin of his that made you say yes to anything he wanted.

Or if you were me, you were waist deep in school debt, credit card debt, you name it, I had it, debt.

I think I did it better than everyone else; I hid behind a mask that declared calmly to the world that everything was okay.

Everything was fine.

Enter my current situation. I thought taking this job would be my ticket out of this dump of an apartment, this dump of a life, really. Living pay check to pay check would be nothing but a distant memory.

Right?

Instead I was covered in blood.

I bet you didn’t expect that … the blood part. But it was as real as giving birth to a nine pound baby boy or, the strangeness that was my name. Instead of diving into a story, telling a tale of madness and mayhem, I was living it for real.

In the words of Jade Reamer, fuck my life.

I stood motionless in a tank top and shorts, gripping the handle of a butcher knife in my hand. Blood pooled on the floor as it rolled down the blade and landed plumply on the floor next to my bare feet.

I couldn’t tear my eyes off the body laying right in front of me. It took up my entire field of vision and in that moment, nothing and no one else existed.

It was the first time I’d seen a dead body this up close and personal. You know, besides watching it while streaming a TV show online. Looking back, I realized that I probably wasn’t particularly good at dealing with death. As a child, I mourned for an entire month when my pet rabbit was run over by a car. I wore nothing but black and felt guilty each and every time I was happy over something else. Whenever I found a spider in the house, my first instinct was to catch it and try to release it outside. When my paternal grandparents passed, I often liked to pretend that they were off exploring the world, maybe Venice or Cape Town. Even when my own parents died I refused to walk to their caskets, not wanting that visualization of death early on in life engrained in my memory like a tattoo I couldn’t laser off no matter how hard I tried.

I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

Even now, I didn’t know what to do. I could hear the sound of cars through the open window, the wind brushing my already chilled skin, goose bumps quickly erupting like they were racing against each other on which one could get me to flinch first. But none of that mattered, it was all white noise to me. My mind wandered for a moment and I thought of my landlord.

Did I pay him this month?

The sound of the front door opening didn’t even get me to react. I just stood there, staring at matted dark hair. Dead. I didn’t react to footsteps approaching me calmly, cautiously. Instead I noticed the  tattoo on the left biceps that wasn’t moving, the majority hidden by a t-shirt, from a body that didn’t breath. Dead. I saw that his neck seemed slightly out of place, his head hanging at an odd angle. Dead. I wondered if death felt cold. As his life slowly seeped out of his body, did he welcome coldness instead?

I couldn’t take my eyes away from every inch of him, this motionless body sprawled on my living room floor. But then my vision was obscured and a man—a living, breathing man—stood in front of me, and blocked my view.

He grasped my arms slowly, fingers digging into my flesh. I knew it should hurt but I didn’t feel anything. I actually didn’t think I was there.

Or was it here?

Alarmed eyes looked straight into my own glassy ones. “Kimber,” he started hesitantly. “What did you do?”

It wasn’t until then that I finally dropped the knife, the clattering echoing in my ear.

What did I do?

I blinked a couple times before I said anything. It was the only thing I could think of to say.

“What do we do with the body?”

…………………

 Prologue from Love, Lies, X’s and O’s, Four Letters 2 (Publish date TBD)

Trip Down Memory Lane

Do you remember what it was like to be in eighth grade?

“Callaghan!”

I startled and turned at the sound of the male voice, heart hammering in my chest. I knew that voice from anywhere.

Owen Wilder. He was probably the most likable guy at school. He wasn’t the hottest, he wasn’t the tallest, or the biggest, but there was something about him that made every girl, from sixth grade to eighth, swoon at even the mention of his name.

Including me.

Maybe it was his quirky grin, or the fact that he’d always pick the smallest kid when picking teams. Or the air of confidence that he took with each step, which was crazy for someone our age to have. But there was something about Owen that made everyone pause as you tried to figure him out.

We were at the stage in life where everyone seemed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Hannah was currently seeing Scott (boyfriend number five). Despite being fourteen, Hannah was a serial dater and I could never keep up with whether Tim had been last week’s or last month’s boyfriend. According to her, she had to practice dating now so she’d be ready for when it was really important.

Mateo had recently been dating Kiera before she kissed another guy at the talent show and they had quickly split, leaving Matty crushed for weeks. He presently wanted to experience the “single life”, not particularly in the mood for backstabbing girls.

But I had never seen Owen with anyone.

I wondered if he was gay like Star, my cousin’s BFF, and just didn’t want to say anything to anyone yet. But no matter what kind of rumors circulated about Owen in school, he was as popular as ever with the girls, perhaps even more so with the possibility that he might be gay.

Many would envy the girl or guy who would snatch Owen Wilder.

I stood from my crouched position in front of these purple tulips and tried my darndest not to show how nervous I was.

“Hey, Callaghan,” he said, approaching me. “What are you doing?”

He dressed simply in a graphic t-shirt and jeans, holding his skateboard at his side.

I held up my phone. “Taking pictures.”

He nodded, noticing the rabbits nearby then grinned, eyes back on me. “Where are your sidekicks?”

I sighed. “They’re not my sidekicks, they’re my friends. Hannah and Mateo are at the mall.”

“And why aren’t you with them?”

“I’m waiting for my sister.”

He nodded then paused, brushing his dark hair off his face. “You want me to wait with you?”

My shoulders raised in reflex despite feeling nervous as ever inside. “If you want.”

…………………

 Excerpt from Four Letters in Reverse, available on Amazon

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

Sneak Peek of Reap

I opened my eyes but had to squeeze them shut against the harsh lights. My lids felt swollen, heavy with fatigue. My eyes burned, tears leaking from their corners.

It was the most uncomfortable of feelings.

I must have been dreaming.

“Hello?”

Although the word seemed alien to me, almost as if I had never heard it before, I instantly understood its meaning. The voice that had spoken was warm, making me feel as if I were suddenly sitting in front of a fireplace, wrapped in a heavy blanket, flames crackling. The heat of the word practically licked my skin.

Again, I tried opening my eyes, this time a bit more cautiously. Blinking, I slowly adjusted to the artificial lights, now able to see.

I found myself staring back into a pair of bright blue eyes, a look of wariness in their depths. For a brief moment I couldn’t look away as I stared up at him. Then he cleared his throat and glanced away, as if uncomfortable with my gaze. With the spell of his eyes broken, it was then that I noticed I was lying on the ground—no, on hardwood floor.

And with not one, but three interested faces peering down at me.

I sat up, then winced at the abruptness of my movement, bringing my hand to the back of my head.

Pain, my mind whispered.

“Careful now.”

I directed my eyes toward the person who had spoken such kind words. It was the first person I had noticed, the one with the blue eyes and the warm voice. His voice was deep and calming, and as I sat there I tried to think of the emotion I should be experiencing. Inhaling softly, I closed my eyes, ignored the painful throb in my head, and waited for the proper term to flutter into my mind.

Gratitude.

“Where did you come from?”

Satisfied I had found the correct word, I opened my eyes again to the voice speaking to me. It was a pleasant voice, reassuring to say the least, and immediately captured my attention.

At that moment, I didn’t notice the black hair atop his head, a striking contrast against his blue eyes that looked like I was staring into an ocean. I didn’t notice that the corners of his eyes crinkled up when he smiled kindly at me, complementing the single dimple in his right cheek. By just looking at him, anyone could tell that he was someone who knew how to laugh. But I didn’t notice any of that.

All those things I would notice later.

I stared at the corner of his lips as he continued to speak, not toward me, but to the others present in the room. “Guys … I don’t think she understands a word I’m saying,” he mumbled softly, as if afraid I’d be insulted at the notion of not comprehending him.

“I like her,” stated the girl kneeling next to him. She looked quite outrageous wearing a short black dress with a black choker wrapped around her neck, pink shiny embezzlements adorning it. Her white-blonde hair was extremely long, almost past her lower back. I directed my gaze to her face and found blue eyes staring down at me.

Her eyes were identical to the man’s.

“It’s always the silent ones we should be weary of.” The words themselves were harsh, but as I looked to my right I was greeted by a kind smile with equally kind brown eyes behind wire-framed glasses. They belonged to a man casually sitting on a couch, his shoulder-length dark brown hair tied back. As he continued to stare, he tilted his head to the side as if analyzing a computer software program that wouldn’t work properly.

I guess I was the computer software program.

“James, help me out, will you?” the man with the blue eyes asked calmly. The man on the couch, James, stood up and slowly sauntered over to my side, then both he and the blue-eyed man grabbed my arms and brought me to my feet. I didn’t protest, shuffling alongside them as we entered a kitchen, where they placed me on a wooden chair next to a table.

Sinking down into the hard chair, I averted my eyes downwards and focused on a crack on the wooden table. I knew I was still being stared at, three pairs of eyes boring holes into the crown of my head.

It was difficult not to look up but I managed. I needed a distraction, so I started to trace the crack on the table instead, feeling the texture of the wood as it scraped against my skin.

I find wood to be … quite rough in manner.

“Here you go.” That calming voice spoke once again and I looked up to find a glass of orange juice placed in front of me. It was at that instant that I realized that I was thirsty. I reached for the glass, instinctively bringing the rim to my lips. The juice was cool down my throat.

Refreshing.

This was familiar: the taste of juice in my mouth. Closing my eyes, I licked my lips slowly, trying to memorize this feeling. Perhaps if I stayed like this long enough, I would be brought back to that time of familiarity….

“Yo, Briggs!” James voice beamed through the room and I startled, setting the glass on the table. I hadn’t noticed the front door had opened—I believe an apartment building was where we were located—and a new presence had entered the room. I looked over to where a figure stood by the stairs, utterly still. Although we were indoors, he wore sunglasses. And even though I couldn’t see his eyes, I knew they stared directly at me, hard as stone.

He didn’t like me.

If the man with the blue eyes was warm like a fire on a cold winter day, this man was like the wood I had just caressed: rough, jagged.

Broken. 

Excerpt from Reap, originally published October 11, 2013. Reap has been since republished, along with Sow, under the title, Never Letting Go.

Digging into the Characters of the Blood Crave Series

So I have an update on Rowan. I’m currently waiting on the mail for my copy which I’m super excited about. It looked beautiful online and I’m hoping the real, live version is just as beautiful. I have to say one of the best things about self-publishing is the creative process of actually making a book. I use Adobe InDesign for my print and Kindle ebooks and it’s a Godsend, I tell you.

Love it.

Mind you, there are probably alternatives to this process, but InDesign works for me. I get confused hearing acronyms like HTML or NCX. I like words that spell things, plain and simple.

In case you didn’t know, Rowan will be released April 26th, 2013. It’s the next book in the Blood Crave Series with (you guessed it) Rowan as the main character.  Now, she’s briefly (and I mean briefly) mentioned in Dahlia and we even get a look into her past in Fallen Tears.

I really like Rowan as a character. Although she has a similar background as Dahlia (whom I also love) being the orphaned girl, they are completely different. Dahlia is this introvert, prefers her own company, pretty much an innocent living in an unknown dangerous world of supernatual beings out to get her.

Rowan, however, embraces the dangers and fits naturally into this world of supernatual beings (although it took a lot of work on her part). While Dahlia lives with a past she can’t remember, Rowan’s past still haunts her to this day.  She puts on this front of being the confident one with an attitude. But deep down inside, all she wants is love, just like anybody else. And with those close to her that have left her in the past, she finds it difficult to believe in that happy ending.

And although her story starts in Fallen Tears, her story truly begins in Book 2 of the Blood Crave Series, Rowan, where you get to see characters from both Dahlia and Fallen Tears interact with one another. Who, you’re probably asking?

Well, you’re going to have to wait and see.

Sneak Peek of Rowan, Blood Crave 2

I wanted to post an excerpt of my upcoming novel, Rowan. It’s the continuation of the Blood Crave Series following Dahlia and Fallen Tears. So if vampires and such are up your alley, check them out! There’s a twist, I tell you. A twist!

Below is an excerpt taken from Chapter 1. It’s in a random section (didn’t want to post the beginning; gotta leave some suspense).

Trying to remove all thoughts of him, Rowan focused on the task at hand. She sucked hard on the last remnant of candy, then stepped out of the shadows and onto the main street. She knew she’d catch the eye of some pathetic twenty-something year old. As of now, she didn’t give a hoot who it was. She just wanted—no, needed—one thing.

Blood.

She caught sight of a somewhat nice-looking blond walking across the street. He looked strong and healthy, definitely able to do the job, not dying on her and all. Humans who were frail had a tendency to not recover from the stress their body went under while being fed on, no matter how little blood she would take at times.

Rowan also learned sexuality was just as powerful as the ability to manipulate people’s thoughts. She’d use either, depending on her mood. It was why she’d dubbed herself the Charmer. Vampires had scary reputations and she didn’t really think she was scary. She’d changed from the old Rowan, having been on her own for so long, but she wasn’t creepy.

Or was she?

Ignoring the thought, Rowan tilted her head, calmly waiting for her meal to cross the street. She tracked his steps with her eyes as he made his way over, walking toward her. As he passed by, she grabbed onto his essence, tapping into his thoughts. She instantly felt a sense of urgency coming from him.

He was late in arriving to a friend’s condo, a new one, and couldn’t find the address. He felt slightly agitated at being lost, especially in a new city where things were so unfamiliar. Being a guy and all, he didn’t dare ask anyone for directions.

Typical.

Eyes raised, Rowan unconsciously popped another candy in her mouth.

Three.

She silently fumed, yet another reminder of him. No time to be distracted, Rowan, she thought to herself. But her candies were rather addicting, especially when caught up in the chase.

Eyes narrowed on her target, Rowan focused once more. She waited two beats before following Blond Boy from behind. A few more strides and she quickly caught up to him, falling into step thanks to her long legs. She managed to ‘accidentally’ step on the heel of his right sneaker, forcing him to stop as he spun around. Annoyance clearly flashed across his expression but it quickly disappeared as his gaze rested on Rowan. His eyes roamed up and down her body unashamedly, a smile growing on his face.

Boys were too easy—a pretty face and they were hooked. Internally, she rolled her eyes at his response. She could tell he no longer thought of being lost.

Frankly, it was quite pathetic.

Putting on an apologetic face, she frowned, stepping forward. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I?” She brushed a hand against his upper arm for added affect and knew he worked out from the bulge felt beneath his clothes. She felt the shiver vibrate through his body from her contact.

Hook, line and sinker.

She rather enjoyed this game of cat and mouse. It gave her something to do and, to be honest, it was rather refreshing. Mind control wasn’t as entertaining and she didn’t do it unless needed.

“No. Um, no, you didn’t. I’m fine.” His voice pierced through Rowan’s thoughts, sounding slightly off centered, almost like a pubescent boy. It didn’t match his physique at all. She watched him swallow deeply, clearing his throat. Rowan bit her lip, trying to hide the smirk forming on her face.

She instantly let go of his arm, eyes widening. “Well, then. Now that I know you’re fine….” She took a step back, smiling as she slowly walked away. She accentuated her stride, allowing her hips to sway gently back and forth when—

“Wait!” She paused in mid-stride, her smirk quickly forming again. Smothering her smile, she changed her expression to one of apologetic sincerity. Hands clasped together, she turned to face him, watching as he jogged over. He stopped, only mere inches away from her.

“What’s your name?” he murmured.

Her candy having dissolved, Rowan chose to suck on her tongue instead for the lingering taste, then gave her upper lip a quick swipe. She watched his blue eyes flicker to her mouth as he followed her movements. She slowly exhaled, her breath filling his nostrils before finally answering.

“Rowan.”

He continued to watch her mouth, not saying a word. He sure was slow. Although aroused, which was easily seen by his dilated eyes, his quick, shallow breaths, the way he looked at her, he didn’t make a move. Rowan was sure if he had his way, they’d be staring at each other all night long.

That was so not happening.

Impatient, she pursed her lips, deciding to take things into her own hands. He was definitely not the pursuer. Taking a closer step to him, she brushed herself firmly against him, feeling his body stiffen. Slowly moving her mouth toward the shell of his right ear, she whispered something any guy would love to hear. Her devious smile locked in place, eyes glinting wickedly.

“Would you like to have some fun?”

Excerpt from Rowan, Blood Crave 2. To be released April 2013

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?