March 11, 2012

Sacrifice Playlist

I usually post a playlist for my books right before they are released and I’m procrastinating so today seems like as good of time as any. This playlist actually exists in two separate versions.  I created the first playlist while writing the first version of Sacrifice then created the second one when I rewrote 60% of the book in January and the first part of February. Yikes. Talk about stressed. The current playlist still includes some of the old songs but also new ones that fit particular scenes or themes. I’m curious, as a reader, how interested are you in an author’s playlist for a book? Sacrifice Playlist Superfiction– Wicked World (Sacrifice theme song) Superfiction– What Happens Now (first two chapters) Breaking Benjamin–Anthem of the Angels (Will) Red– Feed the Machine (Emma first part and almost the new theme song) Dead Letter Circus– Cage (Emma also the theme song for Hunted) Red– Confession (What’s Inside My Mind) (Emma and Will) Red– Fight Inside (Emma and Will) Red– Watch You Crawl (Emma middle of Sacrifice was original theme song) Red–Start Again (Emma and Will) Dead Letter Circus–One Step Red– Never Be the Same (Emma and Will at the end)
March 9, 2012

The Cover for Sacrifice

Coming March 23!!! Only two more weeks!!!    
March 7, 2012

Self-Publishing Experts

This post is not about self-published authors sharing their experience with others through their blogs or on Twitter.  This post is not about self-published authors who have blogs and discuss marketing strategies and what worked and didn’t work for them. This post is about people who claim they are self-publishing experts and begs a genuine question: What defines an expert in the self-publishing world? —————————————————————— I’ve noticed the internet is full of experts on self-publishing. They claim they know what you need to do to get the most sales for your book. From my own observations, some of them actually know what they are talking about. Others, I’m more skeptical. But first things first. What makes someone an expert? Is it the amount of time they’ve had a self-published book for sale? Is it the number of books they’ve published? Is it the overall sales they’ve generated? Or is it how high they’ve climbed in Amazon rankings, or even how long they stayed there? Seriously, all of these need to be taken into account. The fact is that almost 80% of all self-published books will sell 100 books or less. Wow. Shocking, right? I think that bears repeating. 80% of all self-published books will sell […]
March 4, 2012

Q&A about Chosen and The Chosen Series

I’ve been asked a lot of questions in emails and comments on my blog about Chosen and Hunted and the series overall. I thought it might be good gather them and answer some in a blog post.  If this spurs a question from you, ask it in the comment section below. WARNING THERE ARE MULTIPLE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. Do not read if you haven’t read up to the end of Hunted.   The MOST ASKED QUESTION about The Chosen Series at this point: When will Sacrifice be released? ****March 23**** How many books will be in the series? Four and possibly a prequel novella featuring Alex, Raphael and the original Emmanuella in the beginning cycles. I had planned three books, but I’d hit 80,000 words in the first draft  of Sacrifice and realized I wasn’t going to be able to answer all the questions and give a satisfying ending with three books, unless it approached A Game of Thrones length. How did you get the idea for the series? I LOVE when random things can change the course of destiny. And obviously, destiny plays a big role in all of my books, so I seem to have a thing […]
February 28, 2012

Rude Awakenings

I’m a night owl. I always have been. I’m usually up working until 2 or 3 a.m. It stands to reason if I’m staying up until 2 and 3 a.m. that I want to sleep later in the morning. And by later, I mean I don’t want to wake up before 8 a.m. This is actually feasible since I taught my early riser, my newly turned six year old Ryan, how to turn on the TV and cable.  Let’s just say when my kids were little and getting up multiple times a night, I wasn’t always a pleasant person in the morning. Saturday’s used to be my sleep in day. I’d get wild and cra-zy and sleep until 9 or 9:30. That is until my newly turned nine year old daughter Jenna joined competition dance and has to be at practice at 8 a.m. Excuse me? But I take her. Nearly every Saturday morning I drive her to practice bleary eyed and clutching a cup of coffee in my free hand, saying,  “Never doubt my love for you. Getting up at 7:15 on a Saturday morning is all the proof you need.” I’ll just sit here until someone hands me […]
February 25, 2012

First lines

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter can tell when I’m deep in a manuscript– I become that annoying person who posts all the time.  I’m sure I must have undiagnosised ADD. **squirrel** My two older boys have it so it’s in the realm of possibility. Or it’s just an excuse for my procrastination. I find myself writing for a little bit, then procrastinating enjoying contact with humans through social media. Finally, with any luck at all, I hit a stride and get sucked into my story. But admittedly, it’s like getting into a swimming pool. I’ll in dip my toe to test the waters , then ease  in slowly before I’m drowning at the bottom of the deep end. Oh, wait. Wrong analogy. In the spirit of procrastination, I decided to post the first lines of all my books because I really like the first line of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons.  And because I think I’ve exhausted all other procrastination topics. (Quick! Someone send me ideas!) An interesting note: Every single first line was the actual first line I wrote for each manuscript. I’m listing in series order: The Chosen Series Chosen: Emma bolted out the door of the rundown diner, pulling her […]
February 24, 2012

Changing Characters

I finished my MULTIPLE revision of Sacrifice Wednesday night and sent it off to the copy editor! Can I get an AMEN? Sacrifice has sacrificed my own blood, sweat, tears, patience and frustration. BUT I think it’s so much better than it was to begin with and I hope you all agree. At this point I’m still on track for a late March release. I hit send around 1 am Thursday morning and began to work on plotting out the rest of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons  yesterday, which came amazingly easy. Frighteningly so. (But perhaps not as frightening as my over use of adverbs here.) Today, I began to write again, adding to the 9000 words I already had. And I stalled. Not because Ididn’t know what Rose was doing, but because I had trouble getting back into what Rose was saying.  I had to recapture Rose’s voice. Rose’s thoughts wander. Her vocabulary isn’t the same as I would use in The Chosen or On the Otherside series. Rose’s life experiences are not only culturally different but also stunted by her lack of experience.  She looks at life though different lenses and while her innocence is so refreshing, the […]
February 17, 2012

Checking In- Potpourri

It’s no secret that I post sporadically here. Sometimes while I’m driving to my daughter’s high school to pick her up from her musical rehearsal, I’ll think of a great idea for a blog post. But then I get home and the next thing you know, the kids are in bed and it’s my writing time. I ask you, which would you rather me spend time writing: my next book or a blog post? See? Priorities. But still, things slip through the cracks. I forget to post little things like Chosen being free on Amazon for two days last Thursday and Friday. That would have been helpful information to someone who had read my other books and was considering reading Chosen. I’m sorry. Truly, I am. So then I feel like I can’t post that Chosen has broken the top 100 in the Kindle store again, this time dropping to #19 at one point. Or that Chosen has been in the top 100 for six days now. Or that Hunted is currently at #145. Oh, wait. I just did. Or I forget to post about how grateful I am that readers love my books and love my characters and email […]
February 5, 2012

Book Trailer for HERE

A fan of HERE, Jennifer Thomas, has made a book trailer for HERE and it is AMAZING!!! I’m so honored. There’s a million books out there but she chose to make a trailer for mine. I contacted Jennifer and she’s given me permission to post it on my website. I think she really captured the heart of the book. What do you think?
February 3, 2012

Picturing Characters in my Head

When I write characters I usually have clear pictures of them in my head. In The Chosen series, I can see Will, Emma and Jake perfectly.  The problem comes when I try to find pictures of models who come close enough to what I see in my head.  Sometimes I hit it exactly. I found this picture of Jake two years ago while I was writing Chosen and nothing else has ever come close. But Will and Emma are harder. Recently I found the PERFECT picture of Emma. You have no idea how close this comes to how I see Emma in my head. I mean, it’s like I saw this picture before I wrote her. At the moment, I’m looking for photos to use for romance trading cards to take to RT Booklovers Convention. No, problem. I have the perfect picture! Awesome, right? Wrong. I found this photo on Tumblr and while I’ve contacted the photographer to see about purchasing rights to use it, I have yet to hear from him. So my search continues. Will is also hard. The closest I’ve come is the picture I found when I made the book trailer two years ago– my reward for […]
February 1, 2012

Sacrifice blurb

Sacrifice is getting closer to publication! I’ve hired a developmental editor, the awesome Alison Danso, who has been a tremendous resource– even if she suggested a few major revisions. But I loved her ideas. Her main suggestion was my original intent for the book but could never figure out how to make it work. Alison did. So I’m working hard on finishing revisions and still hoping for a March release, just late March now. Still, some things are still on schedule, like the book cover. The cover artist, the talented Laura Morrigan, needed the blurb to work on the back cover of the print book. I usually find blurbs incredibly difficult, but I had this one within a couple of hours. Tell me what you think!   Sacrifice The third book in the Amazon bestselling The Chosen series by Denise Grover Swank. She was dead. No. She only wished she was. Everything Emma loves has been ripped away—Jake, Will, and her unborn baby. Within minutes of confronting her new reality, Emma is thrust in the middle of a war between two supernatural beings and she’s the prize. After convincing Emma that Will is dead, Raphael insists that he’s the only […]
January 20, 2012

Pricing in Self-Publishing

Here’s my  insight into pricing self-published books and one genre: romantic suspense For a self-published author, romantic suspense is actually a very hot, well selling genre on Amazon, which is odd since it’s decreasing in print with traditional publishers. But let’s look at the top 20 in romantic suspense on Amazon: #1 is currently Golden Lies by Barbara Freethy and ranks #21 in the Kindle store. Which means it’s probably selling about 3000-4000 (maybe 5000 it gets sketchy here) or more copies a day to maintain the rank. It’s price is $1.99. Self published #2 Daddy’s Home by A.K. Alexander and ranks #51 in the Kindle store. It’s probably selling over 1000 copies a day. It sells for $0.99 self-published #3 is Obsession (Faces of Evil) by Debra Webb #65 in the Kindle store It sells for $0.99 self-published #4 A “boxed set” of four previously published High Heel Mysteries by Gemma Halliday. The author got rights to her previously traditionally published series and self-pubbed it. It ranks at #86 (and probably sells about 600 copies a day to maintain that rank) and sells for $2.99 self published #5 Loose Ends by Terri Reid, #106 in the Kindle store. It’s […]