That One Time I Had Drinks with a Hollywood Producer

Almost Famous

From the movie ALMOST FAMOUS. Completely unrelated to the story I’m about to tell.

These are my favorite kinds of stories to hear and tell.

I’d like to think that I keep my blog relatively profesh, but there’s also the matter of writing in “my voice.” And if you’ve read Front Row, girls doing crazy stuff is definitely my voice.

There are moments in my life when I stop and think, “Is this really happening?” I actually pause and smile giddily to myself when no one’s looking because this is actually happening. Like the time I got to spend time on a band’s tour bus. Or the time I was in Hanson’s music video. This was one of those times.
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Conferences and Training and Book Fairs, Oh My!

Me in traditional Floweranthan attire at the Lakefly Writers Conference – does that look like someone who could take apart an engine??

Usually I write a recap of every writers’ conference I go to, and I was originally planning to do that for the Lakefly one I attended in Oshkosh this month. I was tired when I got to the conference, and I was beyond exhausted when I left. But it was so worth it. I made a few good connections, and everyone there was so nice and pleasant. And, AND, I sold more books than I ever have at an event like that. Plus, it was very affordable compared to what I’ve paid for other conferences.

For a quick summary, I will say it was a conference that uniquely specialized in genre fiction, from what I observed. There were sessions tailored to fantasy, historical, and mystery/thriller, among others. Seeing as I don’t write much genre fiction, there wasn’t a ton there for me; but for people who do, it’s definitely something to look into. To get a better idea of the vibe, you may just want to watch the Facebook Live video below that I did from my table.

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Excerpt from Sharnita with the Long Nails

OK, so that’s a working title. I wanted something to go with Brit with the Pink Hair (book one), which I’m not 100% sold on yet either. We shall see. Naming things is hard.

Camp NaNoWriMo last month went better than usual! I hit my goal of 25,000 words for the month of April.

Camp NaNoWriMo Stats

I’ll absolutely be participating again in July to either finish up book one or two, or start writing book three. Obviously, no decisions have been made yet. It’ll all depend on whether I make any progress between now and then. Maybe I’ll give JuNoWriMo a shot too?

My goal is to be ready to publish book one by the end of the year. If I say that here, hopefully that’ll make it official.

Anyway, to the words! This is the moment Mike and Sharnita finally meet.

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The Truth about Self-Doubt and 10 Ways to Beat It

A lot of times, people like to show only their good sides on the Internet. Posting on Facebook about the cute thing their kid or dog did, lightly bragging about new life events, or showing the greatest new recipe they made, even though the previous night was mac ‘n cheese from a box. I do it too, and I know for my family following along from afar, they like to see I’m doing well, and they like seeing pictures of my cute kids. It’s all good.

But regardless of your role or however shiny life appears, there’s always a degree of self-doubt, isn’t there? It comes on strong if you’re a parent. EVERYONE has an opinion. And at work, there’s always the question of why didn’t I get that promotion yet? Am I not doing everything that I could be? Or is my manager not seeing it?

I follow a lot of fashion blogs, and those beautiful women all seem to have a post somewhere about how to avoid comparisons and beat self-doubt when someone else is getting more sponsorships or more Instagram likes, etc. It’s a competitive world out there. Even when we’re all on the same team. And I do believe that all authors are on the same team.

So as an author, here’s my post like that. Hopefully it helps someone, even if it’s just a self-serving pep talk in the end.

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Chanticleer Awards Banquet 2018 Recap #CAC18

Newly award-winning (sorry, I’ll never tire of saying that!) TRACK TWO ON REPEAT is on sale this week for $0.99!

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There are moments in my life that I wish I could relive time and time again on demand, and two moments from the awards banquet fall into that category for me. I’m sure you can guess which two moments if you saw any of my social media posts lately.

The banquet started with a cocktail hour and buffet dinner although I didn’t have much of an appetite. My husband and I gorged ourselves on Buffalo Wild Wings the night before, so when we saw chicken again, we inwardly groaned and ended up filling our plates with mostly sides. I must say though, it was good chicken, the little bit I had.

Then, Kiffer Brown, founder of Chanticleer Book Reviews, congratulated all the shortlisters present and explained the high-level process of how the winners are chosen.

The judging panel comprises top authors, editors, and other industry professionals who lend their time to finding new and promising works of both fiction and nonfiction. Among a pool of thousands of international applicants, each of the 16 genres is whittled down to around 20 finalists each (more for some genres, less for others). From there, a first place winner is declared for each of the 6 categories within a genre, and a grand prize genre winner is named from those 6. THEN, an overall grand prize winner for best book of the year is named among all the 16 genre winners.

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