Tag: Evolved

Resolutions: 2013 review and 2014 goals


Last year, I set some goals for myself.

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.
    Yes! It was just released by Evolved Publishing in December. As of right now, it has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon, from 5 reviews. And a reader told me it made her cry. So, score.
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.
    No. I had one acceptance this year, probably because I crapped out on submissions after about March.
  3. Put out a short story collection.
    Yes! I released Us, Together: A Short Story Collection in June. It’s 6 stories about the problems teenagers face, from relationships and unplanned pregnancy, to absent parents and poverty, loosely based on stories and students I encountered while teaching at-risk kids.
  4. Get another novel ready to query.
    Kind of. Evolved is scheduled to publish A Handful of Wishes in December 2014, which means I should probably get it all shined up soon.
  5. Read 100 books this year.
    No. I read 72, which isn’t bad considering I was also working and going to grad school and writing and wasting a ton of time on the internet.
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.
    No. The closest I came was looking at kayaks at Scheels.


  1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.
  2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.
  3. Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this summer from Evolved). Maybe the stories about India I wrote on my trip?
  4. Self-publish at least two long short stories. I have half a dozen in the works; it’s just a matter of finishing them.
  5. Read 100 books.
  6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.

Ideally, I’ll have something new coming out every 3-4 months, in addition to more published short stories which will later be compiled into a collection. I think this is doable, but it’ll require massively-focused time management skills that I seem to be lacking.

What are your goals for 2013?

And the winners are…

I just finished up a big contest to celebrate launch week, giving away two signed print copies and 3 ebook copies of my novel, The Lone Wolf. The results are in:

Print winners: Naomi and Sarah

Ebook winners: Heather, Heidi, and Becky

Congrats to the winners! And thanks so much to everyone who participated – now that you’re connected to my updates somehow, you’ll have a competitive edge the next time a contest roles around. :)

If you’d like to get even more insight and prizes, consider joining the Evolved Publishing Street Team. In return for spreading the word about EP, you get sneak peaks on upcoming novels, special giveaways, and the ear of your favorite writers. Win-win all around!

The Lone Wolf launch!

Yesterday was the official launch day of my women’s fiction novel, The Lone Wolf.

After her husband’s infidelities are revealed, Kasey Sanford just wants to rediscover who she is. After an abusive childhood and years as a career soldier, Andrew Adams just wants someone to tell him that he’s doing the right thing with his life. When their paths cross, Kasey and Andrew embark on a tumultuous journey that demonstrates just what they’re willing to do to save the ones they love.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who’s helped me along the way; I definitely couldn’t have gotten this far by myself.

The book is available, in print or as an ebook, through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Or win a copy by entering my giveaway! And thanks again for all your support!

Free bookmarks!

I’m gearing up for the launch of my first novel, The Lone Wolf, in just a couple weeks. I’ve already made a book sell sheet, which I gave area booksellers when asking them to sell my book. It had all the information they needed to order my novel from their supplier.

I’m also planning some giveaways: a Rafflecopter contest here on my blog, a day to interact with my publisher’s street team on Facebook, something at this week’s NaNo write-in, and who knows what else.

And just this weekend, my The Lone Wolf bookmarks arrived! It took me about an hour or two to design them, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I plan to give them out like candy. :D

Want one? Add The Lone Wolf on Goodreads, and then use the contact link above to send me your address and a link to your bookshelf.

And make sure you keep checking back, because there’ll be a lot going on between now and launch day on December 2nd!

I’d like to thank my editors

As I sit here waiting for my first shipment of The Lone Wolf to be delivered to my house (UPS’s website tells me it’s currently “out for delivery”), I’m still kind of amazed that I have a published novel. I started writing it in February 2010, so it’s been quite a long journey from initial scene (which actually didn’t even end up in the final draft) to the book (almost) in my hand.

I’ve had a ton of help with it, especially from my great editors at Evolved Publishing. Lane Diamond and Mishael Witty pored over my manuscript for five months, getting rid of superfluous proper nouns and I-bombs.

Both Mishael and Lane are also writers, and I highly suggest you check out their books.

Lane also has several short stories available: “Devane’s Reality,” “Paradox,” “The Well-Suited Sentry,” and “Wind Tunnel.”

Book sell sheets

Earlier this month, Indies Unlimited had a great post on book sell sheets, which are basically flyers with all your book’s relevant info on them: author name and contact info, ISBN and price, description and genre, etc.

Click for a bigger view

My first novel, The Lone Wolf, is launching in about a month. It’ll be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and my publisher’s website, but I want it available locally too – and a lot of bookstores are willing to sell local authors’ books. So I made a sell sheet.

And I’m really glad I did. It was great to walk into a bookstore and hand the order person all the information. They had the ISBN right in front of them to enter into the computer, and any questions they had were answered by the info on the sheet.

It paid off, too – Barnes and Noble agreed to stock my novel, BAM was a maybe (not a no!), a mall chain said they’d stock it if they can find space, and another said they’d most likely take it on consignment (but the guy I need to talk to is on vacation). And the library is getting a couple copies for circulation!

If you have a book you’d like to get into stores, I highly recommend you make a sell sheet too.

Bite-size ebooks

I don’t exactly have a lot of free time. Between working and grad schooling and writing and kid-chasing, there’s not much opportunity for me to read. Which is a problem, because one of my goals this year is to read 100 books (so far, I’m at 62 for the year).

I can squeeze in 15 minutes before class, or half an hour before bed, but it makes reading novels and longer books difficult (until the point I get sucked in and neglect everything else so I can finish the book), because it can take weeks to finish a couple hundred pages.

So lately, I’ve been turning to short stories on my Kindle phone app. I’ve published a couple short works – “Tim and Sara” and Us, Together: A Short Story Collection – that have done pretty well.

Fellow Evolved Publishing writers have written tons of short stories that are just what I’m looking for. Another fellow writer, Inge Moore, is super prolific and always seems to have something good for a quick read. And the Indies Unlimited website has Thrifty Thursday and Freebie Friday, great for discovering new shorts.

But of course, I’m always on the lookout for new short stories. Any suggestions?

Fall goal review

Every three months or so, I take a look at the progress I’ve made on the goals I set for myself at the start of the year.

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.
  3. Put out a short story collection.
  4. Get another novel ready to query – either 2012’s NaNoWriMo novel, or the one I’ve been working on for a couple years, A Handful of Wishes.
  5. Read 100 books this year.
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.

So, how am I doing?

  1. Yes! Evolved Publishing picked it up, and release date is just two months away, on December 2nd.
  2. I’ve pretty much sucked at this. Grad school is taking up a lot of my time (“ambitious” is how one of my thesis committee profs described my academic aspirations), and between reading, class papers, and thesis research, I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like, and I don’t even currently have any submissions out.
  3. Us, Together: A Short Story Collection came out in June. I’m really hoping to have another one, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, out by the end of October, and definitely by the time The Lone Wolf launches.
  4. The first chapter of A Handful of Wishes will be included in the back of The Lone Wolf, so I guess I have to keep moving with it. The semester ends at Thanksgiving, so I’ll have a month to really focus on it, then 3-4 months for edits, before the April deadline for a Christmas 2014 release.
  5. I’m at 57 books this year – 16 books behind. Again, I’m hoping to knock a bunch out when the semester ends. I currently have hundreds on my Kindle to choose from, so this shouldn’t be difficult.
  6. Yeah, not happening. No fulltime permanent job = no new vehicle to transport a kayak = no kayak. Grr.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year? 

Weekend Writing Warriors 9/29/13 #WeWriWa

I’m continuing on with my soon-to-be-released women’s fiction novel, The Lone Wolf, out December 2nd from Evolved Publishing.

After her husband’s infidelities are revealed, Kasey Sanford just wants to rediscover who she is. After an abusive childhood and years as a career soldier, Andrew Adams just wants someone to tell him that he’s doing the right thing with his life. When their paths cross, Kasey and Andrew embark on a tumultuous journey that demonstrates just what they’re willing to do to save the ones they love.

Someone slipped Kasey some pictures of her husband David in bed with another woman. She had all afternoon to freak out, and last week she confronted him about them when he got home from work.

“I never meant to hurt you. She was there, and I was stressed, lonely, I guess. She provided an outlet; I don’t know. She didn’t mean anything though, because I love you and only you.”

“Who is she?” I asked, my voice still cold, my fists clenched, fingernails cutting into my palms.

“The one in the pictures? She was—”

“As opposed to who, the one taking them?” I pounced on his choice of words; after years as a lawyer’s wife, I’d learned the importance of paying attention to the nuances of someone’s speech. “What do you mean, the one in the pictures – there were more?”

Want to read more? Sign up for my publisher’s newsletter in the next week, and you’ll get a 5 chapter sneak peek! (And sign up for my newsletter too – link over there on the left – for updates and giveaways – plenty to come as the launch approaches!)

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website

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