GUEST POST: 11 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before BY ANDI ADAMS

Why 11? Eh, cause 10 is boring. Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute and tell you all some of the hard and wonderful things I have learned so far about being an author (I’m sure there’s more to come). It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

1. The real work starts after the book is published. Of course, writing a book is hard. But that’s what we (authors) do. We write. However, once the book is finished and released out into the world, writers have to change their hats and become their own public relations team, which, for many of us, isn’t an easy transition. We know how to write. And generally, that’s all we want to do. But having to conduct the business end of writing and publishing is a very real (and sometimes intensely laborious) part of the job. This is the part that isn’t instinctual for many of us. It’s the part that can feel like work, but is necessary if we want to build our audience, promote our book and all the hard work it took to bring it to life, and continue our career as a writer.

2. Maintaining an alter-ego/pen name isn’t as easy as it seems. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personality disorder and forget who I am supposed to be moment by moment. There are several reasons why I chose to write under a pen name, but I never thought about how much work it would entail to build an author platform from scratch without having the foundation of my personal social media contacts and formally published body of writing underneath me. It was actually pretty amusing to have to practice signing my pen name and not have it look like a third grader wrote it. Thankfully, I’m beginning to find my stride and learning to balance my personal life and my author life, but it’s taken a few months to pan it all out.

3. Author pay is downright pitiful. I don’t tell you this for sympathy. Trust me. Writing is a labor of love. None of us get into it for the money or the fame. I just think that it’s important to eradicate some of the misconceptions many people have about a writer’s life. The mistaken belief most people have is that all authors are making the kind of money J.K. Rowling is raking in. Okay, that may be a stretch, but the general public probably doesn’t know that most authors (especially debut authors) make a fraction of a dollar. On a ten-dollar print book, authors make about $1. On ebook copies, maybe just a little more. But the reason is because books cost a fair bit of money to edit, produce, promote, etc. And what many people also don’t know (I sure didn’t before becoming an author) is that third-party retailers like Amazon, Kobo, Nook take about 30% of a book’s retail cost right off the top. And a printer also takes their cut. It’s a lot of money flying out the door before the author even sees a cent. That’s one of the parts of the business that I personally found most shocking.

4. I’m pretty sure I’m on some sort of FBI watch list given all the crazy material I’ve researched while writing. Yeah, not much is off limits. The rate of a decomposing body. The deadliest undetectable poison. You know, the usual. My mom is pretty worried that one day I’m going to be hauled off to some secret CIA building for questioning. She talks about it often. But thankfully, I’ll probably be sitting next to a bunch of other writers in the waiting room. This is a big part of the job. To research wild things and write realistically.

5. Working from home is equally awesome and difficult. I don’t want this to sound like a complaint at all. I love working from home, in my jammies, on my comfortable couch. It rocks. I try to have a consistent schedule, but if something arises, I love that I have the flexibility to rearrange things if need be or take my work to a coffee shop if I want to get out of the house. But I’m not going to say that it doesn’t have its challenges. Distractions attack by the thousands. And there was a period of time this past winter when the weather was so terrible that I didn’t leave the house for almost two weeks. I didn’t see another human being for almost two weeks. I’m not kidding, the walls started to slowly cave in and I felt a little like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Which bring me to my next point…

6. A writing community is worth its weight in gold. Before I became an author, I valued my writing friends because we had a lot to talk about. We shared similar interests and valued many of the same things. But I never imagined that the writing community of which I am now a part, has become my lifeline. They are the best resources when I have a question about writing, publishing, research, marketing, whatever. I am friends with authors who are just starting out all the way to multi-published big wigs. And my network keeps growing and growing. The more conferences, the more writing workshops, classes, etc I attend makes that web of people increase. And then, as if by magic, this very solitary work doesn’t seem so lonely. I think the people (writers, publishers, agents, editors, publicists, etc) I have met have been the single greatest part of becoming an author. Without a doubt.

7. There are no specific work hours – all hours are work hours. Have you ever had a spark of genius hit right before bed? Or have a nugget of brilliance wake you from a peaceful slumber? Yeah, that happens a lot and many times, it can force a writer right out of bed to catch the idea before it skitters away. Inspiration may hit at 3am or 3pm. We writers tend to try to set aside specific windows of time to write, but sometimes inspiration strikes outside of those time slots and we need to jump on it before it escapes. And aside from the writing time, as mentioned in point #1, we have to make sure we spend time answering emails, managing social media accounts, and working on marketing and pr initiatives. That’s why being an author is considered a job. It isn’t a hobby, it’s work. And even though some people (friends, family, society, etc) may not fully understand the distinction, it’s true. Trying to develop a career as a writer is a full-time job that sometimes yields only part-time perks.

8. Finishing a work is so much more difficult than starting. I know, this is one of those “duh” moments. But I figured it’s worth mentioning. Nothing looks as fun and as glittery as a fresh new idea. Especially when you are in the midst of slogging through the middle of your draft and believing that your work is poo. Wouldn’t it be nice to just start something new, something exciting, something that isn’t torturing the junk out of you? Sure it would be. But being an author is about finishing what you start. Not every time, but most times. More often than not, an author’s job isn’t to start 50 projects and then let them just hangout on a hard drive somewhere. An author’s job is to work through a full plot, as difficult as it may be, in order to write a full manuscript.

9. Netflix is the devil. ::sigh:: My single greatest pleasure and source of temptation. When the writing gets hard I think to myself, “I’ll just watch an episode of whatever and then get back to work.” But then one episode turns into three seasons and I’m like, “Oh man, what happened?!? What day is it?! Have I even eaten today?!?”

10. “It’s never done, it’s only due.” This is a quote I have to remind myself of often. The tendency is to edit, and revise, and edit more, and revise and then it becomes difficult to let it go. Of course, no one can turn in a first draft and believe it’s ready for publication. But after a second, third, fourth, sometimes tenth draft, at some point, you have to just trust that you’ve put in your best work, and that it’s ready to fly free.

11. Hearing positive feedback never gets old. I am still humbled every time I see a positive review online, or receive a Facebook message or email from someone who says they love my book. It’s truly a feeling I can’t describe. Most authors (and artists, in general) spend a lot of time wallowing in self-doubt: This is terrible. Who’s going to read this? Who’s going to care? What am I doing? Does this even make sense? Even the best of the best experience this, but when it becomes apparent that your work has made an impact on even one person, that doubt begins to fade away. It’s a magical experience that I will truly never tire of.

8314065_origAuthor Bio:
Andi Adams writes, teaches, gets excited about performing random acts of kindness, invents words, and talks with strangers, as often as she can. She loves learning about the world, about others, and about herself, and uses that knowledge to write realistic fiction – everything from YA Fantasy to Women’s Lit. She has a passion for travel, for all things Harry Potter (of course!), and for her two dogs, who are also incidentally her biggest fans. The Girl in the Glass Box is Andi’s first novel. For a daily dose of crazy or to see pictures of her cute fur-babies, follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/andiadamswrites), and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/andiadamswrites/).

GLASS BOX FINAL1
A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?

The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.

http://www.fireflyhillpress.com/books–authors.html
https://www.createspace.com/6286950

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-girl-in-the-glass-box
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124086064?ean=2940156795796

THE TROUBLE WITH ANTLERS by A. J. Culey

Pre-Order the eBook on Amazon

The Rack of Destruction
by Norris Raccoon

TheTroubleWithAntlers_MEDIUMIt’s no secret in this community that the greatest danger to all shifters everywhere is the possibility of humans discovering our existence. For centuries, we have protected this information, guarded our secret and kept the humans in the dark. Now, for the first time in Shifterville history, two humans will be living in our town.

Despite dire predictions and against insurmountable odds, the town is ready for the humans’ arrival next week. Indeed, even our esteemed high school principal, Steve Armadillo, managed to perform miracles this summer. The entire town, high school included, has been human-proofed.

This being the case, we should expect to be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Instead, tensions mount as one teen demonstrates again and again that he is unable to control his unruly rack. Attempts to interview Melvin Moose have failed, as he swiftly ran in the opposite direction anytime he was approached. Other residents of Shifferville have much to say, however.

“He just can’t control that ridiculous rack,” Laney Siamese, a classmate of Melvin’s, complained. “It seems every time I turn around, there’s Melvin, knocking over something or someone. I mean, how hard is it to just stay human, for heaven’s sake?”

“He’s going to be the end of us all,” Cora Jaguar, owner of Shiffer Grocery predicted.

Bets are already being placed around town, with odds of 1,000 to one in favor of Melvin’s antlers revealing our secret. Other possibilities were suggested, including the inclusion of tuna-flavored ice cream at the parlor in town (the Siamese family refused to remove it from the menu, insisting that humans eat tuna as well) and the decision to allow students to continue dressing out in fur in P.E. Of course, these suggestions came from Melvin Moose’s best friend, Paulie Porcupine, and Melvin’s father, Jacob Moose, both of whom appear to be in the minority when it comes to predicting how long our secret will be safe with Melvin’s rack on the loose.

Overall, the opinion of the town is clear: Melvin Moose’s rack will destroy the secret shifters have guarded for centuries. Buckle up, Shifterville, it’s going to be a rocky ride!

Norris Raccoon is a reporter for The Shifferville Times (formerly known as The Daily Shifter).

Amy & T-Rab - BLUE HAIR A.J. Culey was not born a shifter, much to her dismay. Despite her limitations as a human, she enjoys spending time with cats, bunnies and other animals. She hasn’t met a shifter yet, nor has she had any antlers spontaneously appear in any classroom she’s taught in, but she hasn’t given up hope that it might one day happen. In the meantime, she has fun writing about the possibilities.

Author Links:

http://www.ajculey.com
http://www.facebook.com/ajculey.author
http://www.twitter.com/tyrabbisaurus
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15139048.A_J_Culey

THE TOUCHED by Jennifer Weiser

THE TOUCHED by Jennifer Weiser

Series: The Descendants # 1

Genre: YA Dystopian

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

– SYNOPSIS –

The first sixteen years of Arabella Penthallow’s life have been a lie…

In a world where deception is the key to survival, Ara has kept up the charade of being a perfect Legion Leader’s daughter. But a darkness stirs, and she discovers she is Touched, a mortal gifted by the Gods. The Touched are as rare as they are feared, and Ara is forced to leave Union City for neighboring Midnight City to protect herself and those she loves, leaving Tove Thorn, the boy who has always known her heart, behind.

Carter Decker has vowed to burn Union City to the ground…

Midnight City’s cocky, infamous bad boy always gets what he wants, and he wants Union City to pay for burning his mother alive because she was Touched. When Carter meets Ara, she is everything he’s been taught to hate. Then he learns she is Touched—just like him—he isn’t sure who he hates more…the Touched girl whose father killed his mother, or himself for being tempted by someone he’s sworn to kill.

They are told they’re fated to be soul mates…and they each wish the other never existed.

When Midnight City is attacked by Union City, Carter and Arabella will do the unthinkable…even if it means falling for the enemy. The truth lies in Arabella’s home nation, and Tove is waiting. Soul mates or not, he has an advantage Carter doesn’t, fated souls be damned.

War is coming…and Ara is the prize.

– PURCHASE –

– EXCERPT –

ARABELLA —

 Im not lying.

Carter’s lips pull into a small smile. My heart flutters wildly in my chest with the sight of it. I want to loath myself for the feelings he’s causing. The confusion that has begun to occur. This isn’t Carter or me. We can’t stand one another, yet I can’t help the way my mind has sometimes wandered in the last few days, playing curious images of him pulling me close, his lips becoming lost on mine.

You are,” Carter says, closing the gap I opened between us. The tips of his black boots touch my own. You can’t lie to me. Or to anyone in this room for that matter. I know what you’re feeling.”

You don’t know a thing about me or what I may be feeling.”

Carter snorts and shakes his head, his hair falling lazily over his forehead. He drops his head, moving within inches of my lips. I inhale sharply, the corset constricting. Damn him. I keep my eyes locked with his, refusing to look away. Too many emotions course through my body and I can’t decide which ones overrule the rest.

Carter licks his lips, jumpstarting my pulse. I do, princess,” Carter whispers, everyone does.”

No…no they don’t.”

Carter purses his lips, his eyes smoldering slightly. Oh, little Arabella, they do. Your emotions are staining this entire room. I can feel everything you feel for me. Taste every last one.”

I suck in a deep breath, pushing back from him.

Carter smiles darkly. The one that tastes the most appealing is that white-hot lust you have coursing through you.”

For weeks Rob has been pushing me to block my emotions from the rest. To harness them in, keep them hidden. I have succeeded in some accounts, but when Carter is around, the defense that I’ve built comes crashing down. Which infuriates me.

Carter winks as he takes in my expressions and what I can only gauge as new emotions that rage inside me. Though I have to say, the revulsion is a nice change for me. I’ve never had a taste of that one.

I can intensify it, if you want.”

I want a lot from you, princess, but I think we both can agree that you would
much rather have me feel and taste your lust.” Slowly he pushes his body against mine as he leans in close to my ear. Never in my life have I wanted to throttle someone as much as I do Carter. But that’s not all I would do if given the chance. He drives me crazy, in more ways than I want him to know. I promise to be gentle,” he whispers.

The warmth of his breath against my ear has the pit of my stomach coiling tightly. My body tensing. Carter pulls himself from me. The scent of sweet spices I can’t place and lavender fill my nose. It’s distracting and enticing. I desperately want to wrap myself around him, feel his hands touch every inch of my skin, taste his lips. I swallow pitifully as my lips begin to ache with desire. Temptation can be cruel.

Cruel. In an instant, I remember his comments and the smugness that was laced in his tone. Carter doesn’t want me because he is attracted to me, he only wishes to prove his point. My jaw clenches. Instantly, I want to break his own. Carter takes a cocky step back, winking at me once more.

“All in due time,” he promises as he spins on his heels and crosses the training room, slamming the door behind him.

I’m not sure what he means. That in time I will come to him like every other girl has, or in time I will finally wipe that grin right off his face. 


– EXCERPT –

CARTER 

I can’t help the way my eyes take inventory of her. I can’t stop staring at her, almost as if I need to memorize every inch of her, as if looking away from her soft, raven-black curls, emerald-green eyes, and dark, blood-red stained lips will physically kill me. My tongue flicks over my own dry lips and I find myself wondering if hers taste like cherries. Or apples. That’s what that red of hers reminds me of.

The sky-blue corset she wears over an ivory lace shirt fits tightly around her slender curves. My hands itch to touch her. To reach out and run my hands through her hair. She’s too beautiful to be real, yet here she is. In front of me. She holds no smile toward me. No outreached hand to shake my own as Father introduces her. Her eyes narrow as she continues to stare intently at me.

Her arms cross tightly across her chest, clearly unimpressed by what she sees.

You hate her.

Balling my fists at my side, I try to rein in the way she has begun to unnerve me. The way I want to run my hands down her, to watch her close her eyes and whisper my name. Chills race down my spine. My body is responding to her in ways I’ve never responded to any chick before.

Father stands with pride as he nods toward me, waiting for me to welcome Rob’s new recruit. But I don’t. I stare just as hard at her as she does at me, finally feeling the narrow of my eyes. Why the hell do I want her? Why the hell am I feeling anything for her?

Father frowns when I don’t offer my hand to her. Arabella will be staying with us for the next few months,” Father says. But what he leaves out is, She’ll be staying indefinitely when you realize that she’s your fated, Carter.”

But she won’t. I’ll see to that. I may like her appearance, and her body might cause me to think and feel things, but it doesn’t change the fact that I vowed to make and keep her and Union City as my enemy. I will end her. Make no mistake about that. She will burn for the crimes her father committed against my mother.

— ABOUT THE AUTHOR — 

JENNIFER WEISER

Jennifer Weiser is a young adult author who has always been a book nerd and a bit chocolate obsessed. Writing has always been a favorite escape, but quickly became a passion not long after the birth of her daughter. When she isn’t combing the shelves of her local book stores or blogging about newest book obsessions, you can find her nestled in her nook creating worlds she hopes that one day will inspire her daughter, who not only has given her the courage to follow her dreams–but offers the inspirations that help color their worlds together.

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager

They like me…they like me not.
NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult Romance
★ SYNOPSIS ★
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.
After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.
Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.
It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. 
To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…
He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. 
So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques.

Back-stabbing.

Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…
Next Door To A Star?


★ ★ PURCH
ASE ★ ★
 AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1QEFOwD
PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/1QEFPRp
iTUNES: http://apple.co/1UTWj8L
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PQf9Mc

BOOKS A MILLION: http://bit.ly/1M07cGF
★ ★ BOOK TRAILER ★ ★
★ ★ EXCERPT ★ ★
The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.
Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

★ ★ KRYSTEN LINDSAY HAGER ★ ★ 

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.