The give-aways end (sob) and I turn in my hour of need to my first blog tour

I little over a year ago I thought I was writing books to entertain and express myself, and creating a novel from little more than my imagination certainly did that. It was tiring and sometimes frustrating, but dammit is was also FUN.

Soul searching confirmed for me that neither money not fame were the object, especially given that I am incredibly introverted and already work in a fairly well paying profession that I enjoy. But days after I hit that first publish button for x0 on Kindle, I discovered something that surprised me totally.  I wanted people to read my book! It was even better if they liked it of course, and I had absolutely no objection to them paying for it, but basically I wanted it to be read.

megaphoneSo suddenly I had two hobbies. I was writing away on y1 and loving it, and I was trying to come up with ways to get total strangers to open x0 up on their kindle and read it instead of the (gulp) million or so other books available electronically.

This second hobby has been more frustrating than fulfilling for me, and clearly there are reasons that I did not end up working in advertising. I tried getting bloggers to review my book (most never answered my queries.) I discovered that producing a paperback book on Create Space was both free and rather easy, and after that I discovered that I could give away copies of my paperback on Goodreads.  Oh boy!

Suddenly my day job was providing the pocket money for me to mail copies of x0 and y1 (which author (2)came out in paperback about the same time) to Romania and New Zealand and Brazil. I don’t even know if most copies made it to their destinations, but slowly responses to both books have begun to pour in. Some people gave me 5 stars (an A) and others two stars (a D) with no comments either way.  Some people praised my book and gave it a poor rating while others did little more than complain then rated it high. I could only scratch my head and wonder. But in other cases, other wonderful cases, I could tell from the review that the reader “got” my book. And whether they loved it or just kind of barely liked it, their understanding, and the sense of that connection that came with it, was a high almost as strong as writing the book itself.

And now all that has come to an end.  Goodreads only allows give-aways on books published within the last 6 months, and my time has run out for both x0 and  y1.  What to do, what to do?  I think I am addicted to reviews. Luckily, I have two solutions

One, my third love child, z2, will be out in paper back next week. Hurray.  I have six glorious months in which to give copies away. Two, I discovered fine people on the internet who will get my 6-month-olds out there onto people’s blogs for me. I elected to try my first blog tour with y1, and to use a group called Orangeberry.  My blog tour officially starts today, and the schedule for the first week is as follows.

4th June – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces

5th June – Twitter View with OB Book Tours

6th June – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

7th June – Book Review & Author Interview at Mommy Adventures

8th June – Guest Post at The Bunny’s Review

9th June – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

10th June – Book Review & Author Interview at The Reading Cat

Please check me out at these venues, and I’ll post the rest of the tour next week.  Ahhhh …. I think everything is going to be okay.

Why why one?

After finding out that naming my first novel with a superscript was not such a hot idea, ( see “Hugs and Kisses“) I turned right around and named my second novel y1.  Why? Why “y”?

Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier

Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier

Well, the name was supposed to be x1 to be honest, and early on I had a vision of writing a six book series of novels called x0, x1, x2, x3, x4, and you guessed it x5. (Every one of those numbers are supposed to be a superscript.) You have to admit it does sort of have a pattern to it. Unfortunately the hero of my second book is a big X-men fan, with professor Xavier himself being the most favorite of all heroes. And I personally love Patrick Stewart. Suddenly having x in the title seemed just too derivative. Maybe even edging into plagiarism. The “x” had to go.

But by this point I had come to love the fact that any number at all raised to the power of one is itself.  This second novel was meant to be a counterpoint to all the oneness in the first novel.  I wanted to celebrate the individual here. I wanted to rejoice in the wonderful ways we are all different.  My protagonist was a young gay man learning to embrace his uniqueness.  Why not use “y”?  Zane, my savvy hero, does ask the question “why?” with great frequency.

It turns out that the letter y is not quite as common in book titles as the letter x.  There is Brian K. Vaughan’s series Y: The Last Man (oh yes, I’d forgotten about  the Y chromosome).  And author Marjorie Celona has recently published a book called “Y: a novel” that sounds fabulous and also plays on the the word “why”. There are a few religious books out there simply called “Why” and a host of other books that start with the word “Why” and end with everything you can imagine and a few things that you probably can’t.  (“Why Men Marry Bitches” and  “Why are People so Stupid” seem to me to both try to answer universal questions.  Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers surprised me a little but, hey, give the idea a chance. )

So my second novel became y raised to the power of one, and friends and family dubbed it “why one”.  The electronic world refused to show it as anything other than y1.  To me, it’s just called “y”.  As in, it’s just being itself.  As in, why did I get started on this to the power of thing and now what am I going to call that third novel.

Luckily, a fellow blogger solved that last dilemma for me with an offhand remark. Please visit my blog “Treasure Hunting for a Good Time” to learn more.

y1 in paperback! y1 in paperback free! Other paperbacks free!

It gives meauthor (2) great delight to be able to tell folks that if they have an interest in reading my second novel, y1, and either do not use or not not like electronic readers, they now can easily get y1 in paperback here.  Better yet, having a physical novel now allows me to offer free giveaways on Goodreads and those interested can click here to enter to win a free copy shipped right to them. Because this looks like an excellent way to make potential readers aware of the book, I hope to continue these giveaways on a fairly continuous basis.

If you like that sort of thing (free books that is) Goodreads apparently gives away a lot of paperback books. Click on my link above and you can go exploring for more from there.

Defending my marriage

Picture3Yeah.  I really am going to post about that.

A few weeks ago my husband and I celebrated 31 years of marriage. Truthfully, it was less “wahoo” and more “how the hell did that happen?”  You see, sometimes he really, truly pisses me off. As I do him. Yet, we have grown together for so many decades that we are now two plants that intertwine so thoroughly that we can’t be separated. We support and caress each other in some spots, while in other places we grow at odds so that we can each allow the other the sunlight and space that we need.  I suspect, for all its ups and downs, that our friendship and our love is what a good marriage is. And yet, what we have is apparently under vicious attack. The Supreme Court just announced that it will consider U.S.A. vs Windsor, a constitutional challenge to the “Defense of Marriage Act”, a law that is supposed to be protecting my husband and I.  DOMA.  And it is protecting our relationship from what exactly?

There are two romantic relationships  in the novel y1. Heterosexual couple Joy and Toby have challenges to overcome but, of course, love triumphs.  I am at heart a romantic. Homosexual couple Zane and Afi have the same issues and a good many more. International boundaries separate them, and their is love is actually illegal in Afi’s home. It will take nothing less than fully recognized marital status to resolve their issues. Legalities matter.  Oh but wait.  Fully recognized marital status for these two young lovers is a threat to my marriage, because ….  because?

What does it take to make a marriage work for thirty one years? My husband and I had the blessings of society and few of the difficulties often faced by others.  We are the same age, race, and religion. Most of our problems we caused all by ourselves. Luckily, we dealt with them. The biggest threat to finding solutions? A cynical society that often conveyed the message of “oh, just give up if gets tough”.  Romance is dead.  No relationship can last. Nobody’s ever happy in a long term relationship. It’s a powerful message that is out there and, I know from experience that it does not help a couple push through those tough times and find a way to make it work.

So today, I am picking up my pen and defending my marriage. Yes, allowing two people in love to have all the legal support for making their relationship last, helps my marriage too. That’s right. A world where love and long term commitment between any two people is honored is a world in which making ones own long term commitment work is just a little bit easier.  It helps every single married couple if every time two people, any two people, find the courage and desire to make a commitment to each other, we don’t just tolerate.  We celebrate with them.

Obviously, I am not saying that marriage is right or preferred for everyone.  But if it is what you have chosen, consider defending your marriage now.  Allow me to suggest signing Kirsten Gillibrand‘s petition to repeal DOMA by clicking here. Let’s really defend the institution of marriage!

Picture1

y1 review

Please check out the blog Serial Distractions, a place for “Fiction, Reviews, Geekery” and an all around fun blog for science fiction readers.  Librarian and author Shedrick Pittman-Hassett  reviewed x0 a few months ago here and he has has been kind enough to now review y1 as well.  He seems to have liked it 🙂

Bruce Willis with boobs

Click here. Then scroll down and check out the post right below my interview for a  fascinating discussion of what women want in science fiction and life in general, complete with a well done Bruce Willis with boobs photo to make the point that, well, gender identity and preferences are complicated. Male science fiction writer Rob Lopez gives thought provoking arguments about women and if you don’t agree with him, he welcomes intelligent comment back. (Yes, I’m working on my response.)

Oh, and when you finish with Bruce, please do scroll back up and check out the  short write-up and interview with me that Rob was kind enough to post.

y1 featured and I get interviewed

Thanks to 3000 year old vampire Bektamun and her modern alter ego author Rebeka Harrington for featuring y1 on her blog.

And, please check out The Indie Book Blog Database where I answered a series of sometimes odd questions and got featured as the author of the day.