Weeding Out the Clutter to Focus on Writing #IGotThis #MyWANA

einstein quote

Hello everyone!

I hope the first month of the new year is turning out to be a great one for you. It’s been one of reflection and re-evaluation for me. I know many folks come up with a list of resolutions and goals for the new year. That’s never worked for me, at least not where I thought I succeeded. More often than not, the pledges and promises made during the first week in January were long forgotten by the end of February…March at the latest.

Moving to Washington has helped me get rid of a lot of the clutter that had filled my life, career choices and my writing/publishing goals. I had been moving along at status quo, not able to break out of my rut and miserable. My health once again took a backseat as I let stress rule and depression take over. My home life suffered. I didn’t feel like I could give my best to my patients and my muses all hid on me and stayed silent. 

Within a month of our move, the weight lifted from my shoulders and I found joy in veterinary medicine again. My characters clamored to be heard once more and I finally admitted to myself I need help to get my health back on track. First step on that journey is to eliminate as much stress from my life as I can. One big stressor for me has been finding ways to connect with new readers and socialize with other authors without coming off as spamming.

I had joined support groups in order to find out what worked for others and see if any of it would help me. Some methods did help and decreased my work load, but the majority of it made my stress and anxiety levels soar. Between the review swaps, like for a like, voting on Goodreads lists, tweet teams and promo posts and events, my brain damn near exploded. All of it seemed disingenuous. I wanted REAL reviews from actual readers. Still, I tried a few of the groups. In the end all of it fell flat for me. Members of some of the groups took advantage of the group dynamic but when it was their turn to reciprocate, they bailed…usually when it was time to share/help promote my stuff.

competition memeBelonging to some other groups frustrated the hell out of me because I was being lectured to on a daily basis about what I was doing wrong and if I wanted to succeed as an self published author I had to follow their way or hit the highway. Funny thing: these people know even less about what actually works in the publishing world than I did. When confronted with tried and true methods from authors who have made all the mistakes and learned from them in order to reach their success, these same people laugh and go about doing the same annoying spam posts, stacking Goodreads lists and swapping reviews. 

Never mind their behavior has attracted the “trolls” who don’t take too kindly to their reader lists being manipulated. When a book by an unknown author RELEASES with over 50 five star reviews, it raises flags…and not the good kind. It also causes a backlash against anyone thought to be friends or associated with the unknown author.

Honestly, I can’t say I blame readers and reviewers from being pissed. I am as well. Why is it “okay” to manipulate the system to give the illusion of being a best seller? Why isn’t it enough to use social media to make connections and friendships that help readers discover your work? Why is it acceptable to hound fellow authors to like your page, buy your books or follow you back on Twitter? 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

A friend of mine came to the same conclusion and penned a beautiful post about it. Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author. She’s a hybrid having published on her own and this year she will be with THREE different publishers. Her memoir was voted one of the top ten inspirational reads in 2014. She didn’t even know that poll existed until her book was listed on it. THAT my friends is true success. Click HERE for her post and see why she is one of the people I most admire. She inspires me each and every day to reach for the stars.

good-motivational-quotes-1

Like Amber, I’m continuing to declutter and revamp myself and all of my alter egos. Streamlining is our top priority now. I’m going with the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. There is no reason that I have to be so wrapped up in promotions, lists, sales, giveaways, blog hops and begging for people to check out my books. I want to WRITE! I want people to enjoy my stories. They can’t do that if I don’t have them down on paper or published electronically. If they’re hidden away in my brain, no one will get attached to the characters I love.

quotes-inspirational-motivational-quotes-self-improvement-success-faith-belief-courage-quotes-hard-work-happiness-joy-faith-courage-belief-my-perfect-line-5_largeYes writing and publishing books isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be. It’s a labor of love that takes hard work and dedication to bring everything to fruition. It takes developing a thick skin to take the criticism and guidance of editors, reviewers and readers who really want to see you succeed and won’t coddle you or let you think you’re the best thing since pepper jack cheese. 🙂

As an author, I need the feedback to improve my writing but not change my stories. They’re my tales to tell. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but they do appeal to many. I’m grateful for each and every one of them for taking the time to read my work and give me their honest opinions. Sometimes their words sting, but I’ve learned from them and have grown as a writer.

I’ll keep writing and reaching for the stars. I Got This!

Who’s with me?

Advertisements

@dochappycamper Rings in the New Year with a New Release! #bisexual #EroticRomance #vampires

Curse of the First Born Cain promo

 

Happy New Year!  It’s already a great one as 2015 has started off with a bang. SEASON OF SUN AND SIN has finally been released! After all the delays it’s finally out on Amazon. For a limited time, it will be exclusively with them. If you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited borrowing program or Kindle Prime, you’ll be able to read this collection for free. For the rest of us it’s still a steal at $2.99. For less than the price of a Starbuck’s cup of coffee you’ll enjoy two erotic tales from me and one form my alter ego Lia Michaels.

Here are the blurbs for my two novellas:

Bound in Paradise

final Reflection for Sun and SinUp and coming L.A. artist Julia Santos had searched for a Domme strong enough and confident enough in their relationship to allow her to be wild and free while trusting her to give over complete control to them in private. Unfortunately very few meet up with her expectations.

Except one.

Carmen Hall had longed for a partner who would be more than her pet, one who would challenge her skills as Mistress and yet offer themselves to her—heart and soul. She’d all but given up until she laid eyes on the fiery Julia.

Join Julia as she remembers her early days with Carmen and a love that spanned over two decades and would know no bounds.

 

Curse of the First Born Cain

In the first book of the Kayne Legacy series, we meet reporter Abigail Matthews after she is awarded the interview of a lifetime. She’d been granted no holds barred access to everyone associated with one of the most powerful foundations in the world, including the current CEO Michael Kayne. Sparks fly between them the moment they meet but nothing compared to the jolt she receives when she comes face to face with Michael’s grandfather—the biblical legend Cain.

In hopes she’d accept her destiny as his grandson’s chosen mate, Cain opens up and shares his heartbreaking tale— everything from the tragic fight with his brother Abel to his journey to find Lilith and make her his wife. Together they were to create a family of immortals sworn to protect the Essence of the Tree of Life from the one hell bent on destroying it.

 

Both of these stories are close to my heart. Bound in Paradise is the answer to all the questions about how Julia and Carmen from The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3) first met. While it’s not an official part of the series, the companion novella fills in some of the blanks in their love story that I thought were important to tell. Julia is such a colorful, heart-wrenching character and many have felt a kinship with her. She fought her way through hell and back again to be with Carmen. This novella gives you another glimpse of her past and what she did to overcome it.

Curse of the First Born Cain is the beginning of my new Kayne Legacy series. Two years ago I started writing this for NaNoWriMo and it took a life all on it’s own. Cain spoke to my soul and I had to tell his story. First I outlined it through poetry in The Courtship of the Vampyre.  Through the poetry I became totally immersed in Cain’s world from the loss of all he’d ever known to his life with Lilith. Here is a man who only wanted his father’s love and acceptance. He’d been denied it at every turn. Come to find out, he was the Chosen One to carry out the mission his parents lost. Through him, man’s greatest gift would be protected. When his story came to me, I had to tell it. My editor remarked a few times that she could tell Cain’s story is close to me. It is. I hope as a reader you will see it too.

Until next time,

~Tammy