Tag Archive | Indie Authors

Jen Loves Authors-JA Hensley

As I continue introducing you to my favorite creatives, I definitely wanted to make sure you got to meet this one!

The first time I ever met JA Hensley, I felt like I had known her all my life. She’s a wife, mother, professional, as well as an author and a owner/blogger at Babu’s Bookshelf. She’s funny, smart, and kind, and even though I don’t get to see her very often, she’s someone I’ve grown to admire and respect quite a bit!

JA answered my questions like a champ and I’m so happy to introduce her to you, in case you haven’t met her already.

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1. Dog or cat person?

I’m a cat person but I own a dog right now. My family is allergic to cats and that makes me really sad.

2. What are three interesting/unique/fun truths about you?

  1. I went to boarding school for my last 2 years of high school.
  2. I make all my own swag and some for other authors as well.
  3. I teach at a community college and my most popular class is Human Sexuality.

3. What is the single most guiding principle in your, life and how does that impact your role in the publishing world?

I want to always be true to myself and do what I feel is right. As far as the publishing world, I write what I want and try not to let trends or others sway what I publish or promote.

4. What is one big thing about yourself that you would change and what have you done about it?

One thing that I’ve been working hard on is to be less shy around new people.

5. What do you do in the publishing world? 
I started out as a blogger and then, with the help of my BFF, I started writing. Now I’ve published 4 Contemporary Romance novels and I’m working on something new.

6. What is one thing you want people to know about you?

I love to read and discover new books and authors. I hope people find me approachable and likable. I love talking about books too!

 

Go and check JA out at any of her links and make sure you add her to your TBR list! She’s wonderful, amazing, and you won’t regret reading and following this wonderful author!

With the holidays coming up, I’m going to skip a couple of weeks but will resume after the New Year! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year to all of my Loves. I wish you all the best!

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I’m a Troper!!!

I began this writing journey many years ago beginning with a story that I penned with a girl in my fourth grade class. The story was short, simple, and contained the “f” word.

And it was terrible!

My oldest son is the same age I was when I wrote it and I’m still perplexed with my younger self. Yet, it was my first foray into a lifetime of writing and honing this beautiful craft. My stories and style have improved tremendously over the years (thank goodness), but that cringe-worthy story remains folded up in the corner of a drawer reminding me that while I wasn’t always prolific, I have always loved to write.

My writing journey has been a long one. I didn’t release my first book until nearly two years ago, and when I did I was filled with such fear and trepidation. It was like standing naked in front of a sold-out stadium, baring everything as I held my breath and waited for the laughter. I have always been a fairly private person, sharing only with people when I completely trust them. I’ve been this way all of my life, with only a few people who I allow into the realm of my secret craziness, completely.

In fact, I am just now becoming comfortable talking about my writing with others because it’s so personal. Writing about my writing always seems so much easier. Writing about everything has always been easier.

But I have loved everyday and every moment of this journey. Now, I get to take another step.
I’ve been accepted by the hybrid press, Booktrope. To say that I am ecstatic about having a publisher is an understatement. I LOVE self-publishing and the Indie community is absolutely amazing, but the Team concept of Booktrope has an allure that I can’t ignore. To engage with others and work toward a common goal, everyone sharing in the success, is a theme that I am all-to-familiar with in my grown-up job so this is a natural fit. Sharing my writing has helped me to become a creature who is more comfortable sharing out in the open, unlike the closed-off, impersonal person I once was.

I feel privileged to have been recognized and accepted by such a great group of people, and I am so ecstatic about having the opportunity to have help building an audience for my books.  This is where you can help.

I’ll be looking for a launch team who will help me when the time comes, to share, tweet, Facebook, blog, and inundate their news feed and everyone they know with news about my books or about new releases. If you are interested in being on that Team, you’ll receive certain perks which may involve getting advanced copies of my books before anyone else, being a part of a private Facebook group, having direct access to me AND the opportunity to receive some fun stuff in the mail, as well as have input on projects I’ll be working on (such as… what will we name this group?). In return, I’ll ask you to read my books, write HONEST reviews (even if you don’t like the book), and share, share, share!!

I hope you’ll consider joining me and being more involved in this amazing journey!! When the Team has been assembled, you’ll receive an email to let you know you are in. We may add Team-members later if the need arises, but only the first select will receive all of the perks! Join early because the early bird will get cooler stuff.

Sign up here… http://eepurl.com/bf9ugH

 

Being An Author

I never realized it before but I was an author even long before I had books in print. Instead of writing the stores down, I would just write them in my head, one right after the other. Unable to quiet the noise in my brain, there were often times when I felt like I was losing my mind. But I’ve found that since I’ve been writing, life actually seems clearer without the residual noise that comes from having all of those extra thoughts rolling around.

It’s funny how being an author has changed me. I’m not yet prolific (three books published, one in the editing process, and one about 1/3rd of the way written), or on the NY Times Bestsellers list (A girl can dream…), or even very well-known (Jennifer Sivec… “Never heard of her!”). BUT, I am more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been.

After being alive for (ahem!) several decades, I finally feel as though all of my important pieces have been discovered.

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve published my first book, Leaving Eva. I thought that publishing a book would be like having a birthday. I had the anticipation that I would feel different after reaching this momentous milestone in my life. But after I published Leaving Eva, I didn’t feel like an author right away, at all. Instead, I was almost embarrassed anytime anyone brought it up and I was constantly worried that if they hated my book they would look at me differently (writer neurosis). I wasn’t even sure what being an author would feel like, I was just convinced (like birthdays) it would feel different. I kept waiting for it to hit me and wasn’t sure if I would feel it after my first book  or after my tenth, though I wasn’t even sure I could get to writing two.

Finally, after three books published and another one “on the way” (yes, it’s like giving birth), I FINALLY find myself settling into this new role, realizing it isn’t just a passing whim or just an experiment in life. I realize that writing is here to stay and that I can fit it into my busy life and make it a permanent part of me. I struggled with making that commitment for a while wondering if I would be too busy and if it would eventually end up on the list of things that “just didn’t work out”, in my life.

It’s been challenging rotating roles: wife, mom, full-time career (that I love), and writer. There have been many long days and nights, and moments when I’ve wondered whether I would be able to do it all. But I’m finally figuring out that each role fulfills a different part of me and makes the other one so much better. I’m more fulfilled from the inside, which makes more productive and complete on the outside.

I finally understand what being an author is all about. It’s quite simply about writing, and nothing else. While there are many other things involved in selling books, without the writing there is nothing else. I’ve set some goals for myself this year, to center myself more around the writing in order to become a better writer. They involve blogging, newsletters, and simply writing my books. After all, that is why I became an author, so I could write, which is what I love to do.

Now I wake up and life makes much more sense. And despite the many long days and nights, and constantly juggling roles, I feel utterly fortunate to get to live this busy, far from perfect, but very full-life! And for the first time in my life, I finally feel as though I am what I have always been… an author!

http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Sivec/e/B00CA7NN64/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1420987883&sr=8-1

Getting Ready CAE…

I said I would blog every day before the Cleveland Author Event, which was clearly a big fat lie.

I have probably blogged LESS than usual for the same reason I haven’t been able to write “the end” to my current work in progress, I Run to You. It’s just a little thing called LIFE.

Writing soothes and strengthens me, but it’s not all of me. It doesn’t completely define me, though it’s always been a driving force in my life even when I didn’t know it. Anytime someone is passionate about something in life, I believe it unknowingly propels them forward in life. And while I desire to write daily, it just gets too crazy to write the way I wish I could.

And I’m okay with that.

The Cleveland Author Event is in one week and one day, and I am a lot less freaked out about it than I was a month ago. I have a dress, shoes, books, swag, a banner, pretty pens, and chocolate (a must). As I begin this blog entry I am sitting under a hair dryer getting my hair done, then nails after. I’ll be all beautified by two of my favorite women, Drema and Brenda.

So I believe I’m ready.

And I’m so excited! I’ll get to meet people I’ve only ever talked to or communicated with in emails or via social media. To be able to put names with personalities and faces, will be an extreme pleasure. I can’t wait to spend quality time with such talented and successful authors, many of whom have answered questions and been so supportive, even though they probably thought I was some mad stalker in the beginning.

This past year had been such a wonderfully amazing year, full of so many new experiences. Between writing, releasing two books, blogging, interacting with so many incredible new people, and becoming more open to the world, it has truly been a whirlwind. But I’ll take it! I’m much happier than I’ve been with myself in a long time as I’ve struggled to reach my potential. While life is this constant journey, it often feels as though we’ll never get to where we are going. We are always searching for the destination instead of just enjoying the road.

I’ve blogged before about how writing a book was on my bucket list. And now that I’ve almost completed my third, I realize I’m definitely enjoying the road, for the first time. When I finished writing my first two books, I had this incessant urge to start the third, as well as a fourth. I see now that as long as I continue to have a passion for writing then I will write, the way I’ve been doing it. Around my marriage, my children, my career, and around life. I’ll write because I get to and because I understand how lucky I am to do so many things I love.

I just had a lovely lady on my Facebook page tell me I am “on her list” of authors to visit! I don’t think I’ve ever been on anyone’s list before, so I am super excited to meet her. It’s my first big signing and I am beyond ecstatic to get to be a part of it!

I’m sorry I lied and didn’t blog every day. I think I must have been crazy or drunk when I said I would because there is no way it was ever going to happen. But I’m happy I get to do it now. And if you’re at the Cleveland Author Event, please stop and say Hi :). Even if I’m not on your list, or you’ve never read any of my work, if you’re reading this post then I would love to meet you!

So… I’m ready.

But first, to finish planning a seven year olds birthday party that is in two days…

Little Fish, Big Pond

My first BIG book signing is a month away and I’m totally freaking out, inside.

I’m excited, exhilarated, motivated, but I’m also petrified.
I’ll be at a signing with amazing, best selling authors… and then there will be little old me. I almost feel like I’ll be the ugly duckling or Cinderella before the epic transformation.

As I look back on the last year, I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit. And a lot of it has absolutely terrified me. I released two books, started a blog, and then launched head first into social media which forced me to expose myself in ways that made me incredibly uncomfortable. I even had my own little solo signing at a lovely Italian restaurant, Spennatos, two months after my first book released.

Now, almost exactly one year after I released my first book, I’ll get to join some talented writers at the Cleveland Author Event. Since it’s my home town, I almost wonder if I magically got in by default 😳. But regardless of how I squeaked in, I’m so excited that I’ll get to be there surrounded by such creativity and talent. The thought of it makes me giddy.

My one tiny hope is that someone comes to my table to see ME too. If not, I’ve already decided that I’m totally stalking the fans of TH Snyder, my lovely table mate. I just hope she doesn’t mind.

In this past year, I’ve been encouraged by how supportive, positive, and wonderful oter authors, bloggers, cover artists, designers, and readers can be. I’ve never asked someone a question to be turned away or scoffed at, for my ignorance. I love the genuine support that everyone gives, even though I have yet to meet many of them in person.

I know I’ll feel like a little fish in a huge body of water. But I’m excited and thrilled because I love getting to write and getting to be a part of it all.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until this past year that I was able to share it. Perhaps that has been the most difficult part of it all. I’m not a person that typically worries about what other people think. But when it comes to my writing it’s completely different. Because when I write, I am bare, and I am vulnerable, my soul exposed.

In preparation and anticipation of the CAE, I’ve decided that for the next 30 days, I’m going to blog one thing about myself, every day. I’ll use serious, frivolous, and random topics. I’ll even leave it open to the floor if there are any suggestions for topics.

If you’re at the CAE, please don’t hesitate to come say HI! I’ll be the one fan-girling TH Snyder or photo bombing Tara Sivec. ❤️

Who I am…

I’ve been struggling to find time to write, lately.

The holidays are upon us and everyone is so busy. The end of the year brings other challenges with work and life, and everything in between. I’ve decked the halls, trimmed the tree, and started my Christmas shopping. And this year, I’m even managing to make peace with some of my demons which has been a feat of Herculean proportions.

It hardly seems as though there is time for much else.

I’ve got two books sitting, waiting, and wondering if I’m ever going to back to them. I’ve got characters with unfinished business, lovers who are wondering if they will ever kiss again, and a little girl trapped in a well with a talking serpent-like creature. All of these plots and ideas for character development are swimming around in my head, and there is no time to attend to any of it.

The frustrating part, is that as I go about my daily life, the writing calls to me. I’ve learned to ignore it, but only temporarily. Part of me fears that it will stop calling me, one day. I fear that I will lose the pull as I once did when I became “too consumed by life” to simply just write.

I know that if I would have continued writing throughout the years, and not stopped, that I would have maintained a better sense of myself. I would have remembered what was important in my life because writing balances me out. It reflects the words into my heart like a mirror, reminding me of who I am, and what I want to be. Perhaps if I had continued to write, the lessons that I had to learn, wouldn’t have been so hard because I wouldn’t have forgotten how to prioritize or who I was to begin with. Instead, I abandoned what I loved and lost a piece of myself in the process…

Part of me is afraid that I will get too caught up in life and I will stop writing again. It’s easy to forgo your passion when there is laundry to do, dinner to cook, homework to oversee, and a full time career. I have a family to love, a house to run, and a wonderfully challenging career. Yet, I still have numerous characters calling out to me, plots to both create and finish, and fictional lovers to reunite.

So who says that I can’t do all of it?

After all, I’m a Wife and Mother, and a vicious multi-tasker. I brush my teeth and read a book at the same time. I kiss my children while I pack their lunches. I Facebook while I stand in the deli line. Most importantly, I know when to STOP multi-tasking and just “Be” in the moment. I’m creative, fearless, tireless, and loving.

The beauty of writing, as an Indie Author, is that I can do it on my own schedule. I don’t have to give up telling a story because life is too busy. I love that I can still be passionate about my family, my career, and writing. I love that I can stay in touch with who I am and also, what I love to do.

Even though I’m having a hard time finding the time to to write, the characters and stories are swimming around in my head. They are growing and evolving, and thankfully my children aren’t starving because I did manage to feed them tonight! I know that there will continue to be days when I feel that I didn’t do enough, or that I’m not enough. I don’t expect that will ever change because there just aren’t enough hours to do it ALL, every day.

I know that being a Wife and Mother means that I can’t always be a writer, and that having a career means that I can’t always do everything. But I think that I am better at recognizing what matters, because I don’t let the moments pass me by. I see them and I recognize them in a way that I never did before. And when I’m lucky, the Wife and Mother in me gets to write the love for her family into her book, and the creativeness within, give me success in my career.

For the first time in my life, I realize that I don’t have to sacrifice being one thing to be another. If I am thankful for the gift of getting to do all of these things, I can do them.

Then I can truly embrace who I am.

Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal

Congratulations to a lovely lady, Candice Terry!!!!!!!
Check her out ❤

Release Date: November 25,2013

Cover Created by: Dark Dawn Creations

Genre: YA Paranormal/Romance

Two years ago Alysun David's life was normal. Great school. Wonderful boyfriend.

But after one night of being abandoned at her high school dance nothing was ever the same.

Powers Alysun could never imagine have developed and her anger triggers them.

Terrified, her mother constantly keeps them on the move until they finally find themselves in the company of her mother's old friend…who doesn't look that old at all. Even in the small town of Hinckley, Ohio things seem to only get worse for Alysun and her heart longs for the one person that could help her.

As her powers progress unwanted attention is aimed Alysun's way and evil won't stay away long. Control is the only thing that can help her, but anger is sometimes harder to let go of than you