Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Signing Was A Blast!


Book signings cause writers to shiver, or so I’ve heard. If you read my post last week— Wait! You didn’t. Ah, please do. It’s important to your library. Okay, if you've read my post last week you know this past Saturday I held my first book signing at my local library. I’ve got to tell I was nervous and my friend, Misty, cyber-slapped me a few times because of my frantic messages to her.

I had lined all my ducks up in row for the event by; one, contacting Becky, the very nice head-librarian a month prior, donating my book to the library which Becky and her staff put on display only for a few weeks along with a poster announcing the signing and brochures which I had made up highlighting the great things about my book Evil’s Witness; like it was a Golden Heart Finalist entry, it’s received two great reviews and chosen excerpts. I also included a little information about me. Then my local paper also ran a very nice story about me prior to the signing.

With publicity taken care of, I had hoped to have a one or two people stop by and talk to me and maybe buy Evil’s Witness, but I never expected to sell every one of my books, including my own copy.

For an hour and half, I had a great time sharing what I know about the craft and industry, talking about Evil’s Witness’ conception and development, and my journey as a writer and signing personalized messages. I know a portion of the people who came, some from my past (it was such a treat to see you), but I made many new fans too. I was so thrilled when a few readers showed up with their own copies to be signed. All and all, I think I signed 30 books. Not Nora’s stacks but a number beyond my hopes.

I want to thank the lovely librarians, Becky, Molly and Carey of the Lehighton Memorial Library for making my first signing spectacular! You were AWESOME! They really chatted up Evil’s Witness to their customers. I look forward to seeing you again.

Misty, thank you for all your advice and cyber-slaps. WINK

And to all of those who took the time to stopped and chat and purchase Evil’s Witness, thank you. I hope to hear your thoughts on John and Stephanie’s story. Please email me. I’d love to highlight a few quotes on my website.

I’ll be signing again over Labor Day weekend on September 4 at StoneyBrook Campground, which is perfect because Evil’s Witness's opening scene takes during the same holiday weekend and with my heroine camping in the same mountains. I’ve learned a few things at my first signing and hope to be a little better prepared this time, such as signing book markers ahead of time. I’m so looking forward to meeting new fans, even if it’s only one or two.

Before I get to my question of the day, don't forget to follow me. In one week, I'll announce the winner from my new followers this month. The prize, an e-copy of Obsessed By Wildfire.

Now, authors, does anyone else have hints or suggestions for a successful signing?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Libraries + Booksigning = Funding ?

This week I’m preparing for my first signing. I decided to hold the event in my local library located in my small town. The library is tiny and has tried to raise funds in order to expand to a larger building for more years than I can remember, without success. Think one room school house and that’s my local library. Part of the proceeds I'll generate through book sales on Saturday will go back to them. It’s my way of saying thnak you since they're giving me the opportunity to reach readers.

I tell you this not as a way of bragging, but to make you aware libraries are struggling to keep an ever revolving inventory of paperbacks on their shelves and also to keep current in the technological age by offering computers for use to those who have a need. I’ve read a sttement somewhere this past week (I believe it was one of my chapter mates, Cathy N. who is a librarian) that libraries are looking at how they could loan out e-readers. Imagine the cost in volve to make this happen.

The concept of the Public Library was Ben Franklin's idea. He believed all had the right to knowledge. In Ben’s day if a person could read, the ability lifted them up in status among their peers.

Did you know that over half of the funding your local library receives comes from your local government, by way of a percentage of local taxes collected and parking tickets? Federal and State funds make up another portion and the rest has to be procured through grants or private donations. I know my small community, and I’m sure it’s like a majority of others, where government officials work on a budget each year making tough decisions as to where the greater need is. With the sky-rocketing costs today and after guaranteeing safe water, waste management, power and road maintenance for the residents, how many funds can be left for other programs? I’m quite sure police and fire departments out rank the libraries, and I’m by no means saying they shouldn’t. When it comes to funding, libraries get not all the crumbs, but a few.

More and more teachers are posting homework assignments on-line for parents to double check. Homework and research needs to done on line. Reports and essays need to be typed and sent back to teachers via email. Sadly, there are still many families who can’t afford computers and or printers and supplies—a pieces of equipment as necessary as a phone in today’s society. Libraries give them access to them and after school hours.

There are many avid readers who are on a fix income and can’t buy every book they long to read. Libraries are there for them.

Many libraries offer children story times, opening small minds to great possibilities.

Libraries are not only a place to enjoy and work, but they are a place where you can transform yourself into the person you long to be.

Now, ways you can help your library simple. Become a friend of your library. Donate a dollar for every book you check out. If you're an author donate your book to the library. It’s one less they’ll need to buy and think of the readers you'll garnish for your next book. Donate the books you've already read. Many libraries rise funds by having book sales each year. When the Friends of the Library envelopes come in the mail, don’t trash it. Send it back with a donated and remind family members to do so too. Speak to your librarian about how you can help them with fund raising. Simply having a signing in house could bring people into the library who haven’t entered the doors in years. You know the old adage; You can’t see the problem if you don’t look.

Question: Can you share a way you've helped a library?

Next week I’ll report on my book signing. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me. My August contest is whining down. One lucky new follower will win an e-copy of Obsessed By Wildfire.

Monday, August 16, 2010


The Long and the Short of It is celebrating its third anniversary in style -- by giving away THREE Nook 3G eBook Readers that come with $50 gift certificates and are already pre-loaded with dozens of romance and juvenile fiction eBooks.

We're having a scavenger hunt that runs from August 2 - August 29. For directions on how to earn entries to win the Nooks, go to

The anniversary party culminates in a two day chat that final weekend in our Yahoo groups (links are below), during which every post earns an entry AND we'll be announcing the winners in the final hour.

Little secret. I'm one of the authors. Visit to find the widget. And, I'll be hosting one of the chats on August 29 9am-10am EST and giving away prizes.

Now get to it the month is half over. Win the nook, then you can read EVIL'S WITNESS and OBSESSED BY WILDFIRE on the run.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome Author Paty Jager

Today, I welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Paty Jager. Paty has a fine backlist. You really do need to check it out at The Wild Rose Press, after you read her blog and comment of course. Remember one new follower of my blog during the month of August will win an e-copy of my sexy, contemporary western, Obsessed By Wildfire. Now please welcome Paty!

Paty , Congrats on your new release, Spirit Of The Mountain. I love your cover, BTW.

Thanks Autumn! I love the cover, too. Nicola Martinez did a wonderful job of not only showing the story but making a striking cover.

1)First, can you tell us a little about the story, a blurp?

Spirit of the Mountain is the story of a Nez Perce maiden's love of the mountain and country where she was born and honoring her gift to her people when she knows she could die and her heart is back on the mountain with the spirit who captured it.

2)What inspired you to write Spirit Of The Mountain?

I attended a RWA conference and the editors were looking for historical paranormal. Since I didn't do any of the other things that go bump in the night, the thought of putting spirits in the Native American history appealed to me. Only little did I know that Native American stories didn't sell. Anyway that's what the editors and agents all told me after I started shopping this story around. Thank goodness, Wild Rose Press is willing to take a chance to a story if it's good enough. They don't care what the "big publisher" think.

3)Can you describe your heroine? Does she look like someone you know physically? Did you give her some of your character, values, and aspirations? What makes her special?

Wren loves the country where she came to this earth and is distraught over having to leave to marry the enemy blackleg warrior. I gave her the deep love to seat the feelings the Nez Perce(Nimiipuu) have for the Wallowa Country. She tries hard to honor her family and her people but she has a deep feeling the marriage will not bring the peace it is supposed to bring. She doesn’t' look like anyone I know. I used a note card that had a Native American girl in historic dress and a wolf as my visual while writing this book. I don't think I gave her any of me, other than her wanting need for approval while at war with her true feelings. She's special because she is willing to sacrifice her happiness to help her people.

4)Can you describe your hero? Does he look like someone you know physically? What are his best traits? What are his flaws? Did you fall in love with him while writing the story?

Himiin walks upon the mountain as a white wolf. He sees himself as the guardian of the creatures, yet he battles with the belief he and his siblings were made spirits as punishment for his father's bad behavior. He is tall, strong, blonde hair, blue eyes that turn red when his emotions are high. He is of a band of Nimiipuu from the far north that had the lighter coloring of hair and eyes. His best trait is his honor and loyalty to the Nimiipuu. His flaw, believing he knows what is best. I did fall for my hero and his brother who will have his story in the next book.

5)Did you have to do special research for your story and explain?

I read a lot of books about and by the Nez Perce tribe. I also joined n online group of Nez Perce to get information. I found a Nimiipuu man and a woman who were willing to answer questions and dig for historical information for me, so I could make the life of my character's accurate in their day to day living. As for the spirit part, I read myths and legends of the Nimiipuu and worked to make a spirit entity that I thought would be believable in the world of the Nimiipuu even though they did not have such "creature".

6)How many books have you written? And, which is your favorite and why?

I've written fourteen books but have soon to be eight published. I have something about every one of my books that makes it my favorite. Either a character or a scene or even a secondary character.

7)Tell us a little about your writing process. What comes first, plot or characters?

I don’t' have a set process. aS in the case of this book, I responded to the request fro historical paranormal and I am most comfortable writing westerns so I decided on an Indian spirit and came up with three siblings and I knew it had to be set in the Nez Perce country where I grew up and that story took off. My contemporary came about from something I heard on the radio about a child who ordered stuff via e-mail with their parent's credit card and the parent didn't know it until it arrived at their door. So that's how a nanny arrived on an out of the way ranch porch. The first Halsey book came about from my attending a workshop on humor and decided the only way I could write humor was to make an accident prone heroine. And Darcy was born and Gil the hero had four brothers so they now each have a book that was inspired either by something that happened in the previous book or by their character traits. I have a contemporary western idea that has come about from a song I heard. So my books come about in all different ways.

8)Do you feel it’s important for an author to read outside of the genre their write and why?

I don’t know if it's important but I think it makes you a more rounded writer. I prefer reading outside my genre while I’m writing.

9)Do you have a list of craft books that you think should be included in a writer’s study guide?

Debra Dixon's GMC- Goals Motivation and Conflict
This book was the first craft book I read that made sense and helped me.

10)When you’re not writing, what are some of your hobbies?

When I'm not writing I seem to be helping my children and grandchildren, or farming. I also like to ride my horse and enjoy the outdoors.

11)What is next for you?

I have the second spirit book to send to my editor, I'm working on an action adventure romance, and I need to write the last Halsey brother book and the third spirit book. I'm never without something to work on.

Autumn, Thank you for having me here today. Everyone this is part of a blog tour that is all this week. You can go to my blog: and find the other places I've been and pick up the puzzle pieces. Send me the pieces to and you could win a copy of Spirit of the Mountain.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

But He's Your Villain

Recently, during on one of my fellow sister’s post, I stated that my villain in EVIL’S WITNESS actually came to my house. Some thought that statement was cool. Others raised their brows. Well, I’m here to tell you he did—figuratively he did.

While writing Evil’s Witness, which released a few weeks ago, I had such a great handle on my hero and heroine, John and Stephanie. I knew their dreams and secrets. Heck, I even knew what toothpaste Steph liked to use and which gun was John’s weapon of choice.

However, when it came to my villain, Victor, I knew he was the bad guy, stole money and wanted to do really bad things to John and Steph, but not much else. When the plot line of my book started to look like a sway back mare, I knew I had to invite Victor into my home.

It was a snowy, blustery night when he came to my door. The tree tops howled as the raging winds bent them at odd angles and mad gusts picked up handfuls of snow and sent them to the swirling heavens.

My senses told me to stay alert as Victor followed me into the living room. He paid no attention to my DH who watched a football game on the television and DH paid no attention to Victor, until later.

I asked Victor to sit beside me and while he shrugged off his calf’s skin leather jacket, folded and draped it across the sofa’s back I picked up my pen and notebook. My first question surprised him. “Why did you dye your hair platinum blonde?”

A micro-second before his gaze darted away, I saw Victor’s insecurity. And when he spoke, his answer surprised me. I hadn’t expected the Russian Mafia prince to show emotion over his hair. The reason why he colored his hair was just the tip of Victor’s emotional iceberg. An iceberg I probed, digging for the real Victor.

Over the next hour we talked about his life, his career choice, his feeling toward Steph and John and his relationship with his family. I could see his mannerisms and hear his forefather’s dialect, even though he tried hard to mask it. I couldn’t jot down notes fast enough.

When my DH decided it was time for Victor to leave because it seemed I was having way too much fun with the guy, I had this overwhelming sense that a friend was leaving my home and would travel on a dangerous road. In my mind, I cautioned Victor about his actions and where they might lead him. He simply smiled, and said “Sometimes a man has no choice. He must do what he has been trained to do, without question.”

After the door had closed behind Victor, I dashed off the bones of two new chapters. One I inserted into the front ofmy story because my readers had to know the real Victor and what motivated him to carry out the acts he did. The other lifted my sagging middle out of a dark grave and gave the plot new life.

Victor is one of the favorite characters I’ve written. I loved writing about him and in his voice. Yes, he is a villain, but after our meeting I understand his whys and his secrets and his dreams.

Have you ever fallen in love with a villain?

Excerpt from Evil's Witness:

Gene moved in front of her. “Frank, what the hell are you doing? You’ve known Stephanie all her life.”

“There is too much at stake, Gene. She saw me kill that guy. I’m not going to jail.” Morse’s tongue skimmed his lips. “Why the hell are you trying to protect her anyway? You two have been fightin’ like junkyard dogs for years. You complain every day she’s milking you dry. This is your chance to be rid of your mistakes.”

“Steph was never a mistake to me,” Gene’s voice rose in response. Then it softened. “I was hers.”

Tears threatened to blur her vision and she blinked them away. She squeezed Gene’s arm and glanced at her ex-husband’s profile. He remained focused.

“Touching,” Victor said. “But, sorry, no. They must die here.”

Stephanie gasped. Morse’s hand shook as his trigger-finger pulled back.

Evil's Witness is avaiable at The Wild Rose Press, B& and Amazon.
Remember to follow this blog. One lucky follower will be awarded a great prize on September first.