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I am a very quiet person that dabbles in many hobbies.  I have found writing to be my passion to take me away from my stress and help me relax.  Very family oriented, I enjoy spending time with family and friends doing a big cookout or just having a good round of sister talk with the girls. I take each and blessing as a gift and never question why things happen.  We have to take the good with the bad to complete ourselves as a person.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kindles Received as Christmas Presents

Merry Christmas everyone.  For those that received Kindles as gifts.  I have dropped the price of "Obsessive/Obsession" to $0.99 until the beginning of the new year.  Enjoy a romantic suspense story for a very low price.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wishing All A Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

As we wrap up another year, we might not have achieved all in 2010 that we set out to achieve but somehow managed to survive. I would like to start by saying I am ending the year with mixed emotions.

First, I completed a goal I set for myself by writing a book. Writing it was fun and frustrating at the same time. Once written I had to decide if I wanted to publish it. Knowing the market was already oversaturated with performers and sports figures now writing books or finding a literary agent not looking to tap into those resources, I had to deal with book sales in general taking a nose-dive due to the bad economy. Realizing I had all this stacked against me, I jumped on the self-publishing bandwagon. Although these agencies will provide you with the resources you need, your pockets have to be deep to pay for it. Success is not promised so be careful what you purchase before going in with both feet. With that said, I choose a package that fit my budget and worked from there. Second, right as I was finishing up the book, my mother had a heart attack which I blogged about earlier. I'm thanking God for pulling her through that ordeal as He continues to keep her in His healing hands. My book might not be on the New York Times bestsellers list but it's doing well and I owe it all to those that have taken a chance by reading a book by an unknown like myself. The book wasn't perfect as far as editing but I feel the storyline was captivating enough to overlook those small details. I promise the next book will be more prepared as I have learned a lot from attending conferences and talking with other authors who were more than willing to give me tips.

2010 was very much a learning year for me. Not only did I complete goals and manage to stay employed another year, but there were setbacks also. My niece-in-law lost family members near and dear to her. Her nephew who was an outstanding high school student with a future ahead of him lost his life due to senseless violence. When will the day come again when a person can walk down the street and not be worried about becoming a victim? Then her father passed away suddenly, another figure in her life that gave her strength and perseverance on a daily basis. He will be missed dearly by his family and those that knew him. Mr. Young was a very loving husband and dedicated family man. I'm glad I had the opportunity share in the humor he possessed. At Monica and Shaun's wedding, he gave a toast that I don't think anyone will ever forget. He told my nephew that if he ever got tired of his daughter "not to beat her up just pack her stuff and sit her on the porch and he would be happy to take her back." I might not have that verbatim, but those were words from a father that truly loves his daughter. I continue to keep the Young family in my prayers.

My younger sister, Trevi, had been employed by a company that should be disbanded and tossed in Lake Erie. The economy forced her to keep this position until she could find other employment. My sister is a praying person and she prayed that if she stayed strong and in God's will he would bless her with another opportunity. Well she did stay strong, her prayers have been answered by getting a better position, and leaving that place that caused her so much pain and suffering. Anyone feeling locked in a situation you can't get out of or see no way out of, pray about it, it does work.

The learning part for me is when I had to contact law enforcement officials to interview for my second book due out soon. I had to learn to speak to these people if I wanted to put out a product that was factually correct. I found that if you are generally polite when you call, you'll receive politeness in return. I have yet to encounter one rude official and I have spoken with FBI agents a few times now. Can't judge a book by its cover: Cleveland police aren't exactly known for being talkative to the public so I didn't know what to expect when I approached one in a grocery store working security. My daughter asked if I had bail money just in case. I told her I had to take my chances and if he blew me off then so be it. I presented him with my business card and kindly asked if he would be interested in doing an interview. He thought I wanted to do it right then and explained he couldn't since he was working but he did take the time to give me his name and information to call him. He was very nice and I thanked him for his information. I will be calling him soon.

In my closing of 2010, I'm asking my family, friends, and readers alike to be positive and stay strong for 2011. When we think the world is falling down around us, take a look at the person next to you or the family sleeping in their car, or the homeless man sleeping on a steam grate trying to stay warm. There will always be someone that is having it a little harder than ourselves. Pray for these people, pray for yourselves, and pray for a more prosperous new year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside


The weather has turned cold and frightful outside.  After the hot summer/fall, its’ hard to believe most of the city was stuck in a snowstorm for hours yesterday.  On a good note being this cold means snuggling up with that special person in your life or a good book, warm fire, and cup of hot chocolate.  In most instances, you can do all three.  There is still time to take advantage of the offers available for my book “Obsessive/Obsession” for Christmas.  The kindle version is on sale for $1.00 on amazon.com while the paperback edition is on sale on my website for $6.99.  Please visit www.toyesbrown.webs.com for more details or click on the tab “Links I Like” to be taken directly to the website.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my Family to Yours!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blockbuster Sale!

Starting today through December 15, 2010 get your Kindle edition of "Obsessive/Obsession" for $1.00.  Give the gift of romance, intrigue and suspense and only spend a $1.00.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dayton Book Expo

Details surrounding the Dayton, Ohio book expo are now starting to come through.  As I get more information I will post it for anyone who might be interested in attending the event.  For now check out the website to find out about the event.  If you are a writer, publisher, screenwriter or just interested in learning more about the literary world, visit www.daytonbookexpo.com to contact those organizing the event for more information.

Remember for Christmas my paperback book "Obsessive/Obsession" is on sale for $6.99 until December 22, 2010 and the Kindle edition is currently on sale for $2.99 on amazon.com.  Visit my website at www.toyesbrown.webs.com or follow the link on this blog to go there directly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Special

In time for Christmas my Kindle edition of Obsessive/Obsession will be on sale for $2.99.  Give your loved ones the gift of reading along with a romantic suspense novel.  Check Amazon.com to get your edition today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is Fair is Fair

Most Kindle books are obviously much cheaper than buying a hardcover or paperback book.  Not all readers have jumped on the Kindle bandwagon and many old school readers prefer to hold a book instead of reading off a device or sitting in front of a computer or cell phone to read their favorite novel.  So, as a tribute to those that like the feel of the pages flipping through their fingers or to dog-ear their last page read, I have slashed the price of my paperback book “Obsessive/Obsession” to half-price on my website only.  Along with this limited-time offer, the free mug will still be included while supplies last.
 
Why pay $139.00 then the price of the ebook when for $6.99 you have a beautifully bound book to place on your bookshelf or to display on your coffee table.  I know, I sound like an infomercial but when you self-promote you tend to say things that normally would make you turn your television to another station.  For those that do take advantage of this promotion, I thank you in advance.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Excellent Gift Idea

There is still time to get in on the freebies with the purchase of a book or kindle edition.  Would make an excellent gift for the book lover you know.  Visit my website by following the link on this blog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Author Table

This photo was taken from the behind the table.  I have a few more to upload from my camcorder.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Detroit Book Event

I arrived at the event safe and sound and for a Friday evening there are quite a few people around.  The drive here was not bad.  The weather did hold up even though a few snow flakes have fallen and its cold to beat the band.  The hotel room is very nice and I can't wait to get a good night sleep.  It was a lot of work preparing for this event and now I'm tired. 

I have met a very nice group of people that were kind enough to introduce themselves to me since I was sitting here alone. They are hosting an event early next year that I will definitely attend.  It is closer to home and the program they have designed is awesome. 

Well I guess I shouldn't be blogging when I should be mingling.  I will post more as the weekend wraps.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sweetening the Deal

I've decided to sweeten the deal by adding an edible treat.  I like to snack sometimes when I read and what better way to enjoy your coffee than to nibble on a crispy chocolate-covered biscotti.  The individually wrapped and sealed chocolate delectable will be included as an added treat.  Hurry while I still have a few left.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Free Give Away!

Hey readers for the rest of October and all of November, I will be giving away a free coffee mug with the purchase of my book, "Obsessive/Obsession" (you have to purchase the book from my website only) the Kindle edition can only be purchased from Amazon.com.  You can read a portion of the book in Kindle format either here or on my my website before purchasing.  Click on the tab "Obsessive/Obsession" above to read it here or click the link to read it on my website (http://www.toyesbrown.webs.com/) once there click the tab "Read a Free Sample" and start reading.  Enjoy your favorite hot or cold beverage while you read.  Hurry while supplies last.  Kindle purchasers will need to email me proof of purchase in order to receive the mug. My email address is listed below. Remember to include the following:  Full name, address, city, state, and zip.  Please refrain from using P.O. Box numbers as UPS and FedEx do not deliver to those addresses.
One mug per purchase.  toyebrown@netzero.net

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fight of the Moth

Most of us have heard Flight of the Bumblebee, the orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera, The Tale of Tsar Saltan. My tale is about the "Fight of the Moth." Picture this to that music.

I have been sharing my bedroom with this moth for the last couple of days. He stayed perched on the ceiling on the other end of the room and I pretty much left him alone. I am not a fan of bugs or anything with wings, and my motto is, if you don't bother me, I won't bother you, when it comes to insects and wild animals. I will take the vacuum cleaner hose after those annoying mosquito looking bugs. I can't stand those or flies.

I guess Mr. Moth was getting bored just sitting on the ceiling and decided to play a little tag with me. It was 6:30am and the last thing I want to do before getting out the door for work was to play tag with a moth.

I had laid out my work clothes and was gathering my things to get in the shower when it decided to make a dive for my head. I had forgotten the stupid bug was even in the room at this point. Of course, it startled me. I saw it flapping its wings by the lamp. I grabbed a piece of paper to swat at it. He avoided the direct hit by flying inside the lampshade. The window was open since it was warm, so to be kind and not kill the sucker, I tried to urge it to go out the window.

That wasn't good enough for him. The swat was just a teaser for the moth and now it was turned on by the thrill of a possible fight. I went after the little bugger inside the lampshade. In the process, I knocked over the lamp, blowing out the bulb. He flew on the curtain. Shaking the curtain to make it fly out the window, still giving it a chance to live, he flew to the opposite wall after circling my head a few times and out of my reach.

I have my laptop sitting on a little desk-like portable table with my cell phone and television remote all stacked up neatly beside it. Going after this dang moth and I use the term "dang" instead of what I want to say, tearing up my bedroom in the process. The lamp is on the floor with a burned out bulb, the cell phone takes flight with charger in tow and the clock is flashing 6:45am, reminding me I still need to get in the shower. The moth wins round one.

Finally, that night, I'm ready to relax. Hair is rolled up; teeth brushed and watching the end of my show while working on my website. Hadn't thought about the moth all evening. Before I turn out the light, he makes a mad dash at my head again. What the heck is it about my head that he keeps diving at it? Now it was a live or die situation. The window is closed because its' cold; it had no way out.

After landing on the curtain, two inches from my head, I grabbed my slipper and missed. He takes flight like a mad moth, flapping his wings all around me. I keep my laptop covered with a cloth at night to keep dust and other elements from getting into it. Since I was on the computer, I grabbed the cloth. I had a better chance of hitting the stupid bug with the cloth rather than a stiff bedroom slipper. Well this went on for a good ten minutes with the moth wining the battle until he made a mistake. He landed on the clock. I laid in wait, not in a hurry to get him but to let him think he'd won again. I snapped the cloth and it fell to the floor. He regained his senses and took off to the curtain where I slapped it again. This time when he fell to the floor, he met the final blow from the stiff bedroom slipper. The moth is dead! I win or do I?

This morning the clock didn't go off and I overslept by thirty minutes. Somehow he managed to turn off the freaking alarm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Detroit Michigan in November

Well I have another book fair coming up in November.  I hope the weather holds for this event.  I really would like to make this trip without the dreaded snow making this fun adventure into a difficult situation.  Anyway, I'm plugging away at my second book when I get the pressure from the TPTB to put a photo on the back cover.  I did a pole on face book and the consensus is readers do like to see the author of the book.  When I'm purchasing a book, the back cover is the first thing I take a look at.  I'm not necessarily looking for a photo of the author but more so to read about the book.

But since I did ask for feedback, it looks as if, I will be doing a photo.  I promised my FB friends I would do several shots and whichever photo got the most votes, that would be the photo to grace the back cover.  I better start practicing my smile and touching up the gray spots.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Twitter Tweeting Language

I blogged recently that I was new to Twitter and didn’t really understand the purpose of using it. I have looked into Twitter a bit further and even follow a few people just to see what the hype is about. While reading my tweets, I stumbled into the twitter language barrier. I can make out most of the short cuts used for texting but this tweet had me thrown for a loop.

Our brains usually recognize commonly misspelled words with no problem. Well this tweet had me at a complete loss. I couldn’t for the life of me make out the short cuts or even place letters where I thought they should go to make that three line sentence make sense. Finally, after staring at it for longer than I care to admit, I asked a friend who has been tweeting longer than me, to translate the tweet. She figured it out immediately and gave me a quick lesson on Twitter’s tweeting language. I don’t think I will ever get the hang of it naturally like most people, but with tweeting and unlike texting, you’re allowed fewer words to get your message across so not really worth the trouble of pulling out the thesaurus or dictionary to perfect that message.

Let me give you an example of how bad I am at this. Another friend sent me an email and in the subject it read, “RUN.” I replied “run where.” It took a minute before she replied back and naturally, I thought she was running or telling me to run. Come to find out she was laughing at me and had to get herself together before calling me to explain the message. What she meant to say was “Are you in.” Well, duh! I felt stupid. I wasn’t a texter or tweeter and didn’t know the language. Texting is not my thing either. I text so slow that most times the person texting me will call to ask if I got the text. Well yes, I did, but now the call canceled out my text message.  Have you ever used the auto text feature on a cell phone? What an amazing little feature. Hmm, let it be known I don’t use that anymore either.

We older folks think today’s young folks have nothing to teach us. We are so wrong! When it comes to texting or tweeting be sure to have a teenager or adult at least 25 to 30 years old around so they can translate your text messages or tweets. In my case, I need them not only to translate, but to read it for me; the words on those tiny cell phone screens are impossible to see and bifocals don’t help.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

If or Whenever

If one of my books ever were made into a movie, I know the actors I would want to play the major characters. I won't reveal that here, but later, IF or WHENEVER that happens. For authors that write fiction or even non-fiction, I think that would be the greatest accomplishment to be bestowed upon that person. I would love to see my work on film one day. For a self-publisher, that is probably a pipe dream but its nice to think about.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tweeting on Twitter

Okay, I am trying to get with the program here and do the self-promoting more seriously.  I now have a Twitter account.  I don't understand what I'm supposed to do with it but if anyone out there uses it on a daily basis, please drop me a tweet and tell me what I'm supposed to do.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grade A Fuel

I haven't posted since my radio interview I have been feeling a little tired and run down lately and blamed it on working and the heat. This has been a hot summer so far in Cleveland but we tend not to complain about the heat since the winters are so cold and long here.

I decided it was time for a checkup to make sure every thing was okay and my tiredness was only from working so hard. That wasn't the case, seems I needed a top-off of new blood to get the motor running and back up to fuel level.

When your doctor calls with test results you aren't expecting, there should be a way for them to ease into the conversation instead of saying "your blood work sucks you need to get back here now." That kind of statement can pretty much ruin your day especially when your sitting at work and you can't scream in the phone 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY BAD!' Then you ask for an elaboration, they want to stutter around the subject with the privacy crap. Excuse me! You called me to tell me its bad now tell me why! Well in my case, my anemia was extremely low and I needed a top-off to make things right with the world again.

I admit this was my fault. I have to remember to take care of myself first putting my other activities in line behind me. I really didn't want to do it after being told it was too late to get blood from a relative. I got a bad case of the jitters, I had never had blood before and didn't know what to expect. Where did this blood come from? Would I get a batch that wasn't properly screened. Would I get weird cravings that I never had before? All things I'm sure that run through the heads of many people that have never had this done before.

Didn't matter how much of a tantrum I threw or stomped my foot saying I wouldn't do it, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to stay on this side of the grass then I needed to go this time and make sure not to let it happen again.

Before getting my oil change, I enjoyed a nice breakfast with my big sister and then a nice evening with friends at the park for a cookout. Although I was tired and worn out, I did enjoy myself and I'm glad I went.

When the doctor's office called early Monday morning with instructions for me, the jitters returned after she said to report to the cancer center for the treatment. I don't know why blood transfusions seem to take place in the cancer center of most hospitals but I personally think they need to move this to another area just for mental reasons if nothing else.  You don't go to the cancer center to give blood why go there to get it? First, I felt silly, after complaining about not wanting to do this after seeing how many patients were getting chemo for a much more serious illness. Second, I felt I was taking space from someone that really needed it. It was busy and the patients coming in had nowhere to get their treatment done. I kept offering my chair but the nurses wouldn't let me give it up.

My sister was kind enough to sit with me the five hours it took to fill me up with two bags of grade A positive fuel. She bought me food and kept my spirits up and my mind off the actual procedure. I'm very grateful to her for that. Also I'm blessed to have wonderful friends that offered me support during and after the procedure. Without that lifeline of support, I don't know if I could have done this. Even though my illness wasn't as serious as those that came and went at the cancer center, I now know I have family and friends that care about me and will be there for me if I ever do face a more serious situation, rather it is a illness or anything else. I made a promise to take better care of myself and hopefully I won't need another oil change in the near future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Radio Interview Completed

Every hear yourself on other media?  I'm listening to my radio interview and trying to sound like I have a little level of intelligence but I still sound like I live in the middle of the country.  Feel free to listen for yourself and tell me what you think. http://66.49.193.35/Authors-First_2010-06-23_Toye_Brown.mp3

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Radio Interview

Well yesterday was my big day in the sun.  After experiencing a light earthquake which made me feel like I was on a bad head trip, I had to gather myself to do a live interview with Artistfirst web radio.   I'm not one to really talk about myself and I had this nagging feeling the host would have to drag the information out of me.  To my surprise, I felt relaxed and at ease.  After the butterflies left the coop and I got into discussing the book, the interview felt more like me talking to a person face to face rather than thousands of listeners (those were the host's numbers not mine). 

My kids were in the other room listening while I sat alone with the air conditioner as my source of company.  I figured if I flubbed too much one of them would come in and give me a signal, but after it was over they came in with smiles on their faces.  I took that as I did a good job and they wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen with me in public for making a fool of myself.  Their only concern was I turned my brother into a sister, which I didn't mean to do, and I sounded nervous at first but I calmed down and got into the interview eventually.

My next venture is Atlanta.  I will be mingling with more seasoned and first time authors and me being one of the newbies, I need to be on my game.  Being a shy and quiet person really sucks sometimes but I do pay attention which I think is my best asset at this point.  I want this adventure to be a learning experience for me but to also teach me how to reach out to the public to promote myself and my book. 

Stay tuned as my adventure into the world of self  -publishing continues.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to all the fathers that have been there for their children and the men that stepped up to be fathers to the children that needed them.  I lost my father in the early 90's and have missed him everyday of my life.  He was a father that was always there for his kids no matter what we needed or didn't need.  He always seemed to be able to sense when one of us needed a helping hand.  I know you're still watching over us, dad.  I feel your presence whenever I feel my back is against the wall or I want to give up; I feel you pushing me telling me we are not quitters.  I really wish you were here but I know where to reach you twenty-four hours a day.

Dad, this day is for you.  I love you and always will.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stumbling Words

Okay, I must sound like I have bubble gum in my mouth all the time. I am trying to do a sixty second commercial for a plug for my book for a radio show interview that I have coming up. I thought no big deal, I speak clearly and pronounce my word correctly for the most part, so how hard can it be for me to say a few words and keep it under a minute.

I purchased a microphone and typed out a small blurb to read and hit record. Well, now I can understand why there are so many retakes in a movie or sitcom. I could not pronounce my website www.outskirtpress.com/obsessiveobsession without sounding as if I either had an English accent or had one too many drinks before I started talking. Has anyone else ever noticed how hard it is to recite a website more than once without sounding as if you have slurred speech? I do and I now have a new respect for those people that do announcements or commercial spots or speak in public and have to recite websites repeatedly.

If you aren't used to doing any recordings or public speaking, it can be a pain in the you-know-what. It took eleven tries to finally record a product I though was useful. So after my final take for the night, I sent my audio clip to a few friends to review before I send it off to the radio station. Well not only did I think I sounded muffled but I guess I was breaking the record for speed reading. It was suggested I slow it down and relax. So back to the drawing board I go. This time I will try to slow it down so I won't sound like a speeding, uptight, bumbling idiot come interview time. Take twelve awaits!

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Saga Continues with the Woos of being Self-Published

It's a new day and the end of a long work week has finally arrived.  I have a busy weekend ahead of me and not enough hours to get everything I need to do done.

Continuing where I left off, I proudly show off my email to a few friends and family members.  I'm feeling proud and confident that I can actually make this dream work.  That's all well and good until you realize you have to finish the book.  Sitting at the computer I start to type.  After a few sentences I decide to check email, play a little music or a game; you know, just a short break.  I notice the floor could use a good sweeping so I do that.  Now the kids and their kids come over.  I can't possibly get any work done with company in the house.

I finally had to admit to myself I had writers block.  The dreaded condition you get when the hype has come down and your ideas have hit a dead-end.  If I had been under contract with a publishing company, I definitely would be sweating bullets trying to get words to paper or letters on the computer screen, but since I'm self-publishing, I can take all the time I want! 

With this new lease on life, I pack up my manuscript and put it away for another day.  I had to get away from it to refresh my eyes and look for new ideas.  I would suggest anyone working on a book for the first time actually put it down for about a week, if you can, and let your brain rest.  My break lasted for a few days and I decided I needed maybe a week.  The holidays were coming up and I needed to shop, clean and cook.

I had stretched this little break to a month before I received a phone call from my author representative asking if everything was okay.  I told her I needed a break to take care of a few things but I was still working on the book. Satisfied with my answer, I told her I would contact her if I needed anything.  Now my mother/editor started calling me asking what was going on with the book.  She hadn't received any new material from me to review.

Stress meter has started to tick.  This is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby for me not a job with stress involved.   But I get it.  I had recruited these people to help me and I dropped the ball.  Back to the computer I go.  Instead of picking up where I left off, I start from the beginning and rewrite most of the first few chapters.  I finally get to the middle of the book where the suspense starts to build.  The direction I was going with the suspense required me to do a little research...stress meter tick..tick. 

I'm not a police detective nor do I know any, so my research had to be as close to realistic as possible.  You can't always trust what you get off the Internet, so that meant going on a few government websites to find information and possibly calling these people to verify what I found.  In today's tense world, calling the FBI and asking about bombs could be a big mistake.  As a word of warning, if you do this, MAKE SURE YOU IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS AN AUTHOR AND YOU ARE WRITING A BOOK!  They still might not believe you but you have a better chance of getting the right answers from the right source instead of the Internet.  Stress meter tick...tick...tick.

The doubt has returned and again I push myself to continue.  The suspense is taking on a life of its own and I find myself liking the criminal element of the book more so than the romance.  Romance is easy if your characters are compatible with each other.

To be continued.....

My First Published Book Experience

I was told to start a blog and talk about my experiences with writing my first book. Well, I'm not really one to chat about my vivid imagination but it can run wild when I have time to think. I have always loved to write and would do short stories and stick them in a notebook never really doing anything with them. When introduced to the world of computers and years after my children were doing their thing, I still wrote and let my imagination run, but this time I called it a "journal."

Over the years some of my writings were lost or decayed in notebooks after laying around for so long. Then one day I decided that worrying about losing my job due to the number of layoffs in the company or how to make ends meet with the rising economy, I would use my time to write again. This replaced me wasting time and energy thinking about things I couldn't change into doing something I've always wanted to do---write.


My first book "Obsessive/Obsession," published on March 1, 2010 by Outskirts Press, took me approximately eleven months from start to finish and I had a blast writing it. Now the stress kicked in when decisions had to be made on how to publish it. Self-publishing is a hard game and you are the one making all the decisions unless you pay the publisher to do that for you. If you have the resources by all means take whatever advice your publisher offers after researching it first. If you like adventure then do this on your own and by the time you write your next book you will either be an expert or lucky enough to have a major publisher offer you a contract and they will do the work but remember you lose total control of your work. As a self-publisher you have total control and the final decision.


I'm jumping the gun a bit but I tend to diverse at times. Getting back to publishing for the first time. I had my notes together, characters were defined, story board set and knew where, when, and how I wanted my book to end; at least I thought I did.


If you are searching the Internet for ideas on how to write your book, you will find many sites that will tell you "How To Write A Book In A Day" or "Don't Be Fooled, Anyone Can Write A Book."  This may be true but if you don't have a beginning, end, or anything interesting to say, you pretty much have nothing to work with.


Armed with this knowledge, I started to type. Since I work full-time, I only had a few hours in the evenings and on weekends. We all know how short weekends can be when you jam a weeks worth of housework, shopping and other chores before doing activities you really enjoy.

Okay, the diverse thing has returned. I wrote until my manuscript reached about one hundred pages. At this point, I decided I needed to go back through it and see how it read because if I didn't find it interesting why would anyone else.


As an avid reader of fiction myself, my first rule to writing a good fiction would be to get the attention of the reader in the first few pages. If you lose your readers after the first chapter you pretty much have failed. So I went through those chapters and found parts to be choppy and not flow like I'd hoped. Now this is where that "Write A Book In A Day" theory blew out the window for me. It took me months to get the first few chapters to flow and the characters to mesh.

Now if you're writing your classic romance with only a hero and heroine then maybe it won't take as long to get to that ending. With multiple characters, each one has to be defined and placed---the other theory that went to the wayside. I needed to work more on my story board to place these other characters for my book.


I went with a suspense novel with a romantic twist and a little humor on the side, which meant I had to build this story to keep the reader interested chapter after chapter. To do this, I drafted my mother to be my editor and feedback person. Now I had bigger issues. How comfortable was I having my mother read sexual content that I made up in my head! I didn't want my mom to read and think----dang where did you learn that stuff?

Knowing that sex sells, I had to find a way to tone it down but make it hot at the same time. Man that took some doing but I think I managed to do it. I would write and print and she would read and suggest changes with that pesky yellow highlighter.  I would make changes and again she would question why I had certain characters doing certain things.

Now I had more rewrites which meant more hours at the computer and more strain on a brain already bursting from asking myself "why did you start this?" Determined not to be a defeatist I managed to finish the first few chapters to submit to Outskirts for their evaluation.

I chose self-publishing because I was only doing this for myself. I knew I would never get with a publishing house due to the sinking economy and the competition with all the well-known authors so I wasn't going to sink money on postage to have everything sent back marked "denied."

After a few weeks of mulling over the idea and researching different self-publishing houses I decided to go with Outskirts Press. They were very professional when I emailed them regarding submitting my manuscript. They emailed me promptly explaining the services they offered and what I needed to do to get started. Sounded easy enough but still I hesitated and didn't send it off for few more weeks. I'm a newbie and I imagined the evaluation team sitting around having a good laugh at my attempt at writing a romance/suspense novel.


Making more changes and doubting myself over and over, my mom threatened to drop me as a non-client and my best friend told me to stop worrying and go for it. I read my manuscript for the last time, attached it as directed and off it went to Outskirts' Manuscript Evaluation Team.


For two days I was afraid to open my email. I was anxious to know what they thought but on the other hand I didn't want to know what they thought. The day came and the email sat in bold letters jumping out at me on the screen. I opened every email before that one. With nothing else to open and a few games of solitaire under my belt, I opened the email.


I tried to read it with one eye but with astigmatism that can be pretty darn hard to read when the words all run together and are blurry. So I acted like the adult I'm supposed to be and read the email. In the words of Grady Wilson of Sanford and Son "Good Googly Goo" they liked it!


The team praised me for developing a story that didn't seem like fiction at all and developing characters that were so life-like that readers could relate with one if not all of them at some point. Feeling encouraged to finish the manuscript, I went back to writing the ending. I knew in my head how I wanted it to end but I had to make it sound out in words like it was playing out in my head. This is where the stress starts.


I will finish more about Obsessive/Obsession tomorrow. So stay tuned.

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