Dressing up, selling books, and slugging lemonade in style!

Good evening! So much has happened since my last post!

I attended the Maine Literary Awards set up by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance on July 14th. One of my best buds, Celena and I drove down from Camden all the way to Portland. The drive is normally (for me) an hour and a half. I drive like nobody’s business. However, we managed to get caught in traffic twice; once for a car accident (which seems to happen often when I’m trying to get somewhere by a certain time– but not to me of course), and the other for rush hour traffic on the Wiscassett bridge.

We finally made it to the Glickman Library on the University of Southern Maine’s campus. Of course, we were in such a hurry to get inside that I forgot my glasses in the car and had to stumble around the entire event half blind. Still had fun though. Even if I couldn’t see anyone’s faces.

In the elevator, we ran into Avery Yale Kamina from the Portland Press Herald. Coincidentally enough, she is the same person who took my picture at last year’s MWPA 35th anniversary party, with fellow authors, Fran Houston, Andrew Maxcy, and president of Maine Authors Publishing, Jane Karker. Once we got up to the party, she was kind enough to take a picture of Celena and I. We ran into fellow authors Jeff Foltz, Fran Houston, and Carol Willette Bachofner, who was nominated for a literary award in the short fiction category of poetry.

In all, the event was lovely. The awards ceremony was filled with laughter and gratitude. My pearl for the night was being able to listen to Robert Chute talk about his experiences with poetry as he collected an award for distinguished achievement.

The article from the Portland Press Herald can be found here: http://www.pressherald.com/life/audience/all_2011-07-17.html

You can also watch a video of the awards here: http://vimeo.com/26542093

On Sunday, I went down to Borders for my 2nd book signing as part of the Maine Authors Week. I was also sad to learn that Borders will officially be closing its doors. It was wonderful to be able to have the opportunity to get out there and have these book-signings there while it lasted.

I was joined by Carolyn Locke, author of Always This Falling, a collection of poetry. The day was very hot and though it did get busier just as I was leaving at 3, I speculated that there must have been allot of people at the beach that day. It was too nice to be inside. However, I did sell three books. One of my old teachers from middle school, who was on vacation in Maine from Virginia, stopped in and bought a book. I also sold one to one of the Borders employees who had picked it up the other day and had begun reading it.

Not long after the signing, my teacher informed me that she’d spoken to the manager of Owl and Turtle Bookshop in Camden. After much raving about the book, he’d decided to carry it there. I’m excited to say that they now have three signed copies there for sale! Thank you once again, Cindy Reardon, for all the support!

Lastly, today I finished up chapter 13 on book 2. I’m about half way through at the moment. I’m hoping that I can have the entire content written by fall or winter. So far, it’s looking to be a very exciting book and hasn’t turned out at all like I thought it would. I’ve even got a head start on books 3 and 4 now thanks to reusing some content from the earlier drafts.

Well, time to feed Mr. Lemon Jelly and get to work on the next chapter. ‘Til next time, happy writing!



July! So much to do!

Ah, we’ve reached the month of July. This summer in Maine has been quite interesting. We’ve had our fair share of thunderstorms, heatwaves, and temperature plummets.

This month, I’ve got quite a bit going on. Next week on Thursday the 14th is the Maine Literary Awards hosted by Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Though my book was not awarded for anything, it will be an exciting event to go to. Fellow Maine Authors Publishing author, Carol Willette Bachofner has been nominated for the Short Works Poetry award. Congratulations!!! She is the author of “Breakfast at the Brass Compass” and “I Write In The Greenhouse”, two books available from Maine Authors Publishing. I’ll be going to the awards to cheer her on and support her as well as to meet and greet several other authors from around Maine. I’m very excited!

The next two nights are my dad’s and my nephew’s birthdays! I’ll be very busy next weekend!

That Sunday is my second book-signing at Borders in South Portland. I’ll be joined by fellow MAP authors, Carolyn Locke, Kevin C. Mills, and Carol Glover. After the signing, Jane Karker, the president of Maine Authors Publishing, will be holding a talk about self-publishing with MAP as well as the cooperative.

In other news, I’ve been working hard to rewrite a good portion of Book 2 of the Monstrum Chronicles, tentatively titled, “Aequitas”. This will be the fourth rewrite of the first ten chapters. This time, I think I’ve finally got it in the place where I want it. I have a goal to get all of the content written by this fall. Then I’ll spend the next few months going through and revising, editing, and putting the final touches on it before getting it ready for publication by spring of 2012. This summer is flying by much faster than I’d expected though. I only hope I’ll be able to keep on target.

I’ve also started writing a novella that will round out at around 100 pages or so. It will be in the vain of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and will hopefully be finished by winter. I got the idea for this from listening to one of Norah Jones’s songs off of her latest album, The Fall. The song is called “It’s Gonna Be”. I took old characters from a story I’d begun writing several years ago and integrated them into this new plot. This will be a general fiction book, not a science-fiction or fantasy. It will also partially take place in Maine.

Well, that is the scoop for this week. Stay tuned for a post about my adventures in Portland!

Until then, good morning and happy writing!


Fun in the land of Borders!

It’s been a little while since my first official Borders Book-signing, but, I’ve got to tell you. I had such a blast down there!

The experience started out with one of my best friends driving all the way down from Unity in order to go with me (thank you again, Sabrina! You are awesome!) Then the long car ride down to Portland. Probably about an hour and a half drive. Normally, I’d be totally fine with that. But we passed maybe three car accidents on our way and I was starting to get a little nervous.

Once in Portland, we hit the Gloria Jeans in the mall, stocking up on delicious baked goods and iced coffee (YUM!). At Borders, my fellow author whom I was doing the book signing with, Andrew Maxcy, was already there with the table set up and everything.

It was a Friday afternoon at 5. The sun was out and it was pretty warm. I’d expected it to be rather slow and wasn’t surprised when it was. We were set up by the front door within sight of anyone who walked in. It was a great set up. Our coordinator for the event, Stephanie Hobson, did a terrific job with signage and with the placement of our table. Thumbs up and thank you again Stephanie for all that you did.

Me on the left and fellow author, Andrew Maxcy, seated on the right.

Our first customer was one of our fellow authors from Maine Authors Publishing, Jeff Foltz. Jeff is an awesome guy and an absolutely amazing writer. His book, Birkebeiner: A Story of Motherhood and War, has received allot of attention in Maine and he’s gotten some fantastic reviews for it. Not to mention the number of books he’s sold. It was so neat that he showed up to support us on our first-ever Borders book-signing. I, for one, am truly grateful for his advice and for being a part of a group like Maine Authors Publishing which gives us the chance to work with so many talented authors. Thank you, Jeff!

Authors Katherine Silva, Andrew Maxcy, and Jeff Foltz at Borders.

I also had my wonderful parents who came to my book signing to support me! My mom and dad are two people who have always supported my writing and there has never been a time that I wasn’t grateful for that. I love you guys!

My friend, Sabrina, ended up buying a couple books for me to send as gifts to her friends. One friend lives in Costa Rica and as of last week, the book was shipped out to her. This will be the first book to leave the country and I’m very excited about it!

I also had two other customers stop by and pick up a signed copy of my books. I enjoyed talking to both of them and hope that they enjoy the books! There were a few other people that I talked to who didn’t buy copies but wished me luck regardless and to those people, I would also like to thank you. That is the kind of encouragement that keeps me going.

A friend that I went to USM with, John, also stopped in. It was awesome to see him. Certainly having as many family and friends there as I did made me feel less anxious about it and definitely made the entire experience enjoyable as it did memorable.

To make a long story short (too late!), I sold five copies in a three hour period (which is on the average better than what most authors do at book-signings down there), as well as sold three signed copies to Borders to replenish their stock.

It was an unforgettable day. And fortunately enough, there is a second book-signing planned as part of a Maine Authors week in July at the same Borders! It will be great to go back and with some more summer traffic, I’ll hopefully be able to double my sales from the previous book-signing, if not more than that.

For those of you interested, here are the links to Jeff Foltz’s page as well as the Maine Author’s Publishing page.

Jeff Foltz: http://www.birkebeinerthenovel.com/index.html



Maine Authors Publishing: http://www.maineauthorspublishing.com/

Until next time, Good morning and happy writing!


Gearing Up For Borders!

Hey everyone,

So being a first-time self-publishing author, I was amazed when I found out that I was asked to come down to the South Portland Border’s Bookstore for a Dark Fiction Book Signing with one of my fellow authors from Maine Author’s Publishing. It was an incredible feeling (and still is). A great opportunity to get my work out there and get a little more attention. Living on the Midcoast is wonderful, but it really isn’t an easy place to gain exposure for literary achievements. Portland, however, is a BIG step. Portland is a very artsy city and has a reputation in Maine for housing an assortment of museums, art galleries, and local venues where one can jam with a band or set up a poetry slam. It’s an awesome place and I’m going to have my chance in the limelight. I’m pretty stoked.

I’m nervous too. But having a background in sales, I’m also fairly confident that I can sell my book to customers. It just won’t be in an environment that I’m familiar with.

The thing about selling my book to people is that I don’t really know what to say. The first thing that always gets me is “Gee, well, it’s a vampire book.” Usually, that’s where I lose some people. “Oh, great! Another vampire book? Why?” And even if I try to put my two cents in as to why it’s different from all the others, in my mind, I’ve already lost that customer.

So I take a different approach. What are some of the highlights of my book? Well, there is a constant search for information about a series of murders. There is an autopsy scene. The main character almost acts like a CSI. So… I love to pinpoint the fact that my book is like CSI… with vampires as the investigators. It’s a twist on something that has been driving the book industry for the last few years. Then, there is the opera theme. The story plays out as though it is an opera, following the lives of three tragic characters as they battle their way through their past and present demons to reach a promising future. Oh and of course there’s the whole subplot concerning time-travel. What was that? Oh, yes, you read correctly. Time-travel.

Interesting! Tell me more. And you have them hooked. The hook is a major part of reeling in a customer. When the customer asks what your book is about, you’ve got to give them a once sentence answer, something that you know is going to intrigue them to read more. And what’s more is it needs to be something that you can spin on any age demographic. Don’t think the older generation will be interested? Perhaps they would be if they knew there is an opera subplot? Don’t think the young adults will like it? (Technically, it’s an adult fiction anyway… but…) Might want to mention the gunfights and car chases. Don’t think the teenage girls like so much violence? Well, throw in the possibility of long-lost love and eternal romance and sure, they’ll change their minds.

I make these lists for myself so that no matter what possibility I run into, I’ll have something to bounce back with. I want to be on my toes for this thing. I don’t want to be blindsided by anything. I probably will be though. It is, after all, my first official book signing. 🙂

Well, it’s about time for me to crack the whip and start writing deep into the night.

Good evening and happy writing,


P.S. For those of you in the Portland area or any Maine area, this book signing is taking place on May 27th at 5 pm at the South Portland Borders, across from the Maine Mall. Please stop by and say hi, and maybe pick  up a signed copy of my book! 🙂