Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Is It Too Late to Call For A Hiatus?


Ok, so things have been crazy. Between moving and new schools, I basically fell of the earth and missed far too many deadlines. I have no excuse, just explanation.

I’m sure my posting frequency isn’t about to improve all that quickly either. So, if you’re looking to stay up with publishing and book news, and giveaways, please try to follow me on twitter (@geistwrite) or ‘like’ my Facebook author page (Julie Geistfeld). I update those far more frequently.

I do hope to get back to regular blogging once I meet a few more deadlines.

I have another manuscript to publish and one to write before I miss that deadline too.

 

The good news is…

I am in the process of getting FROM HER BLOOD published and should be able to host a kindle free promotion over Christmas and New Years! Only a few months past my deadline, but better late than never.

I’ll get back on here and post links and free promotion dates soon.

In the meantime, Thank You! Thank you for checking in and keeping up, even when I haven’t.

Things can only improve from here J

 

Here is my newest book info:

HER BLOOD the series:

Book 1 – IN HER BLOOD

Book 2 – THROUGH HER BLOOD

Book 3 – FROM HER BLOOD

Please watch for the conclusion to the Her Blood series – coming in early 2015

 

 

Ryan always understood what he was. He understood his origins and had peace with the past. So when he sets out to discover a glimpse of his mother’s beginnings he has no idea what his father’s repeated warnings mean. “Don’t awaken your mother’s past.” Well, he’s curious after that.

When he flies into Sun Valley on a clear spring day he discovers an oasis that captures his heart and a girl who captures his dreams. It doesn’t take long before his promises start to unravel and when his mother’s past comes to life, so does Her Blood, which is fueled by a desire to protect the things he loves.

FROM HER BLOOD came life.

FROM HER BLOOD came strength.

And FROM HER BLOOD came a love that he is just beginning to understand.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Power of Prayer : The Beaver Creek Fire

In the valley:
A week ago there was no rain or break from the hot, dry weather in the forecast. Then suddenly, miraculously, thunderstorms on the horizon.

Monday is predicted to be hot and dry.
Tues-wend-thurs-Friday all with the potential of thunderstorms. But before there are storms in the high desert, there is wind. Lots of wind.
Rain is much needed. In fact, with a fire this big, rain is the only hope for not just control, but defeating a fire. But first there must be control. They have to battle the wind, they have to hold back against the gusts, and that can be disastrous and deadly. Then, when the rain comes, it does not come alone. It rolls and crashes in a light show that is beautiful and holds as much potential for starting fires as the storm that began this one.

It's funny, because days ago, when no rain was in the forecast, some poor soul stated online that "prayer is useless. We need money to fight this." As I read that I was angered, then saddened. As I prayed for rain, for comfort, for healing, I knew that no amount of money could buy those things.

Now as we see rain ahead and wait with collective breath held I still pray, for safety, for comfort, for healing. For all the things that the wealth of the valley can't buy. The things that money can buy are there, working, fighting, a blessing. Yet even in the midst of the battle they wait too. For the unseen, but ever present. For hopes to become victory. For prayers to make a difference.

So I pray for the valley.
I pray for the rain.

Friday, August 16, 2013

In Support : The Beaver Creek Fire

It's no secret that the Wood River Valley and Sawtooth NRA has inspired me in my life and my writing.
This is the valley that gave me my first glimpse into the world that became my Her Blood series.
As the firefighters work night and day to save the history, beauty, and people of this valley I feel a need to stand behind them.
For the months of August and September all sale proceeds for IN HER BLOOD and THROUGH HER BLOOD will be donated to the Wood River Valley Fire and Rescue Figherfighters Association. http://www.wrfrffa.com/
I know it's a small, small thing, but it comes with big, big appreciation.
To all the firefighters out there local or come from miles away, Thank You!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Breaking Point


Breaking Point

You have this job where you've signed on to do a certain set if tasks. You work all day, pouring your heart into your work until it feels like your whole life is tied up in that one place, that one product. At the end of the day you are emotionally and physically spent. But it's worth it, because you gave all of yourself and produced something that you drew out of everything you are.

Then your boss walks in. His nose is turned up in disgust before he even sees your work. He despises you and can tear you down without saying a word. You're a disappointment. Your work is a disappointment. He begins to methodically dissect what you've done. He would have done it different, better, and you will never live up to your task.

Eight out of ten days he responds this way. Disgusted. Disapproving. You wonder why he doesn't just fire you. Why did he even hire you in the first place?

But he doesn't fire you. He keeps paying you week after week. Somedays he even smiles at you. You don't understand. He even gives you a bonus now and then.

Yet every time he lets you do the job your way he has to tear it apart, only to look disgustedly at you like you are a sniveling brat who has to get your way or you'll cry. Because you do. Cry that is. On a regular basis. And he is so much the bigger person that he'll let you get your way, again, even though you are clearly wrong.

There is no joy in that job. Only pain.

There is no success. Only failure.

What do you do?

Quit?

What if you can't quit? What if you've signed a contract and the terms have no expiration? You can't leave your job, even if it is slowly destroying your self-worth. Your value.

What then?

Do you give up? Stop trying because you'll only fail anyway? Sit in your chair at your desk day after day but never give away any of yourself? He'll take it anyway. Come into tear you down, but at least he'll be right.

No, you can't do that.

That would destroy any self-worth you've managed to cling to. So you keep giving your best performance, expecting the worst review and bracing for it. The problem is, your heart isn't in it anymore. It can't be. And even when it's not, it still eats away at you little by little.

You're afraid. You feel the pressure always building up. You wait and wait to cave into yourself. You wait and wait for him to see you and finally get what you're going through.

You're waiting for your job to mean something to someone. You're waiting to feel the tightness in your chest let up.

But it never does.

It never stops and it never goes away.

And you don't understand why.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Middle Grade and E-Publishing


After self-publishing three books in the Young Adult market, I published my first Middle Grade. I was curious to see how the process and results would differ. I mean, how many Middle Grade readers are reading e-books and how many are willing to give a self-published author a chance? I figured the numbers might be lower and word of mouth become even more valuable.

Here are a few of the comparison numbers I’ve seen so far:

Amazon Free Kindle Promotions:

For my Young Adult books, 5 days of free promo resulted in roughly 500-800 downloads. Middle Grade resulted in 50. Wow, huge difference.

Goodreads Paperback Giveaways:

Young Adult giveaways gained the interest of about 400-600 participants. Middle Grade was right in between with just under 500. Not much difference there.

 

So for Middle Grade I’m inclined to believe that paper reading is still king.

Now word of mouth and reviews will be interesting to tabulate too. Will reviews come in quicker than with Young Adult, or will they be comparable?

If I see a trend, I’ll let you in on it.

 

Any sales trends you’ve noticed? And how have they affected how you market your MG vs. YA vs. Adult category books?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Middle Grade, Pirates, Adventure and More...





I know, I know… I skipped a post and now this one is two days late. I’m not one for excuses, but I have been busy. Maybe I can make it up to you though.

 

My first venture into the field of Middle Grade story-telling has been published! James Allen: Curse of the Pirate Apes is available on Kindle and in Paperback through Amazon.com. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, get it for your kids… you get the idea.


If you stop by today or anytime this weekend you can download it for free on Kindle!


I’m also hosting a giveaway on Goodreads right now, so go check it out if you want to win a copy.

Or… if you ask real nice like, I might have a couple extra copies in paperback that I’m itching to get into readers hands….

 

So leave a comment here if you like pirates, adventure, and love a good cliff hanger ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Blog Post Where I’m Supposed to Write a Blog Post and am Already a Day Late


I had a really great subject to write about too, but that was two weeks ago and I procrastinated getting it into document form, so now you get this sad little post.

The great thing is that although the past two weeks (going on three) have been crazy, unpredictable, and busy, I’m finally finding some time to write and revise and read.

Having just completed a sloppy and unsatisfactory revised ending to my Sci-Fi follow up REVOLUTION OF THE BORN, I now have time to do some Beta reading that I’ve been aching to get at. This writer is an amazing reader, but it’s the first time I get to read their writing myself, so I’m excited to do that. I had to put it off for over a week due to the before mentioned craziness, which I hate to do.

So now, I will leave you with this sad little blog post, hoping that you understand why. I’ve got a book to read! What could be more important than that?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

All In A Name


As writers, we have almost as difficult a task as a new parent. Only we have to do it about fifteen times a year, give or take.

Naming our characters.

How important is a name? Well, a name can set your story apart from the crowd. But you have to be careful, because if it’s too strange it can also alienate readers. Let’s face it. If they have to look at it five times whenever it’s mentioned and still can’t decide how it’s pronounced by the end of the book, then they’re not going to be fully devoted to the story, are they?

Plus, you’re not just talking about the main characters in the story. Many of the peripheral characters need names too. They can’t overpower the main character, but they have to be strong enough to stand out and carry that character wherever the story might lead.

So, how do you name your characters?

Thus far the process has been fairly automatic for me. I don’t have to toil over what name to think up next. Their names come to me in the conversations they have. It’s those initial scenes where a story captures my attention and makes me say “I need to write this one” where I first glimpse their voices. Often those voices are having conversations (with one another, not me, because that is a separate mental condition from writer-itis.) Sometimes the first name to pop into my head doesn’t sound right, but not to worry, as their conversations continue the names will be clearly present and when they stick in my head and in the scene, I know they’re right.

Since I usually don’t write down a single word of the story or ongoing dialog in my head until the idea has fully fermented, there’s no need to struggle over the name. It will come if I let them keep acting it out in my brain. Their name is as clear at their voice. Sometimes it might be common and comforting, other times unusual and bold, but it matches them and ties together who they are and who they will become over the course of the story.

Sometimes, though rarely, the name has been the first thing I know. I can see a name somewhere or hear one, and something clicks, a dialog starts and a character is born. Often the name I’ve seen or heard is not the same as my character’s either, it only inspired it in some way.

To make a long blog short, I really have no method to name my characters. I just know. Kind of like I just see them and hear them and tell their stories. Always the observer, seldom the director.

 

For all the writers out there, how do you name your characters? Do you ever change the names before you’re done? Or after based on feedback?

For all the readers, what’s in a name? Can a character’s name turn you off a book or draw you in? Do you like familiar or outlandish names?

 

Happy reading and writing to all as we usher in the Spring!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Good Luck Giveaway


In honor of a green day and saving some gold I am putting both the 1st books in my two series up for free on Amazon Kindle starting tomorrow. So fill up your e-reader for less green with my Sci-fi BORN and/or Paranormal IN HER BLOOD.

This is also a celebration of sorts for me. Book 2 of the Born Series, REVOLUTION OF THE BORN is out with readers and set for publication Summer 2013. Book 2 of the Her Blood series, THROUGH HER BLOOD is already available on Amazon and Book 3 is complete and awaiting revisions for publication by Fall 2013.

It has been an incredible journey into the world of self-publishing. My favorite part has to be the amazing reviews. Every time one pops up it is thrilling to say the least.

Here are some links to some of the reviews that made this writer’s day…
Praise for In Her Blood...a fantastic paranormal romance



Spread the luck and download a book or two J

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Busy Hands and Silent Brains

There has been a lot of emotional stuff going on in my family this week. Because of that my brain has been a bit too taped by reality to delve into my fictional worlds and accomplish any kind of writing or editing progress.

But 9:00 still rolls around and the young person in me refuses to let the old person in me sleep. So what do I do with time and a taped out writer's brain? Why I sew of course.

Sewing actually takes a very small chunk of my mental power and yet it keeps my hands sufficiently busy. It's rhythmic and repetitive. It can let me shut down without quite giving in to the day.

As I sit and sew my strands of braided rug together, forming a black, white and blue snail that continues to grow I'm wondering...
Do you have a busy hands hobby that you fall back on in those times when you need to silence your brain?
Busy Hands and Silent Brains

There has been a lot of emotional stuff going on in my family this week. Because of that my brain has been a bit too taped by reality to delve into my fictional worlds and accomplish any kind of writing or editing progress.

But 9:00 still rolls around and the young person in me refuses to let the old person in me sleep. So what do I do with time and a taped out writer's brain? Why I sew of course.

Sewing actually takes a very small chunk of my mental power and yet it keeps my hands sufficiently busy. It's rhythmic and repetitive. It can let me shut down without quite giving in to the day.

As I sit and sew my strands of braided rug together, forming a black, white and blue snail that continues to grow I'm wondering...
Do you have a busy hands hobby that you fall back on in those times when you need to silence your brain?

Friday, February 15, 2013

After The End


I just typed ‘The End’ on my follow-up book in the Born Series, Revolution of The Born. Yes, I do type it every time. I also delete it when a certain majority of the editing is complete.  But after you’ve written 70-100 thousand words, those two really help.

The question is, now what?

Generally speaking the story is never over for me. No matter how many characters are left or how this portion of their story has ended, there is always more. Their voice still plays and they wake up tomorrow to face another day in their literary world. The story goes on, whether or not it is to be written.

So now that I’ve typed ‘The End’ there is only one thing to do. Begin again.

When I’ve just finished a book and I know there will be a sequel to it written at some point, I have to go on. I need to capture their voices as they are today. I need to glimpse that next part of their story and feel the continuity of it as it continues in the next book.

I think this step really helps me as a writer. It helps me be invested in the rest of the story. It helps the next book blend seamlessly with the current one. It also helps the feeling of loss recede as I leave voices I love behind and move on to the next story and new characters (or return to old ones.) I know I’ll be back and when I’m ready to come back and continue I’ll have a voice there, waiting to speak to me and take me back to that place.

Sometimes I write follow up books back to back, but generally I don’t. The next part of their story usually requires time to simmer and develop before I can come back to it with the fervor to finish. I don’t usually have a problem recapturing the pace or setting, even the plot is already forming as I walked away, but it helps to ‘feel’ the characters where they were. There is usually an emotional element to the end of a story and that drives the characters forward. It’s that emotion I want to commit to words while the feeling is fresh inside me.

So after the end I always go back to the beginning and save a file that will be opened in six months or a year. The End is never where the story ends. Not for me.

So, writers, what do you do after ‘The End’? Do you begin the continuation of their story? Or do you move on to new characters and fresh voices right away?

And for the readers, do you like to feel the continuity between follow up books as if the story picks up right where it left off? Or do you approach each book as a new story all its own that has only been built on the elements of a past story? Do you like each book in a series to stand alone? Or rely heavily upon past knowledge?

 

Happy reading and writing everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Musings from the Laundry Pile


Recently my husband switched from a work environment that was super casual to one that is considerably more formal. He’s going from a jeans and henley company to slacks and button down shirts.

For me this also means a change. I will be going from ironing 3 shirts every six months to, well, ironing on a regular basis.

I grew up when home-ec classes had been replaced by sex-ed classes, however my mom was sure to school me in the finer art of ironing. I spent many a Saturday afternoon doing my share of my dad’s slacks and button downs. Yet after a decade of little or no ironing I have to say that it is something a girl can get used to living without.

So, as I stood over the hot iron and prepared my first batch of work clothes for my husband, I thought about what this change would mean to me.

Saturday and Sunday nights ironing isn’t exactly something I would jump at. If you told me I would never have to iron again, I’d be happy. And yet standing there as my feet got sore and my back tired, I had a different feeling about the task at hand. I felt connected.

I realized that maybe I’ve been missing out on something in the casual world we live in. Connection. Because other than using our medical coverage or being in charge of spending the daily earnings, I really haven’t had a personal connection with his work. Now suddenly, there I was, a part of what he was about to do. I was taking care of little details that affect his appearance, thereby influencing perception, thereby adding to his work life. I was once again connected to the man who goes to work every day in an office I rarely see, and I realized that maybe in our drive to be casual we are once again undoing the fabric of our homes. Because as simple as pressing heat into a piece of cloth may be it’s just one way I can support my other half. I am a part of his every day. A little bit of me goes with him and I am aware of that as I stand until my heels ache and my muscles are sore.

Suddenly this reintroduction of ironing to my weekly routine felt a lot less like a chore and a little more like a job. It had value and in that value was a connection I had been missing.

Sure, if you told me tomorrow that I could toss out my iron, I wouldn’t cry. But still, in a strange way I really like being a part of my husband’s work life. It feels good and I’m kind of glad I get to do it once again.

 

Or maybe the heat and steam just went to my brain. We’ll see after another week or two of musings over the ironing board…

Monday, January 14, 2013

Double Standards (or: don't hate me because I’m excited)


After much stating to myself that I would not (never – ever) self-publish, well I finally self published. I didn't like querying. I didn't like hearing what new thing could or could not be 'done' in writing every week and then feeling as if I had to correct every manuscript I’ve written or be shamed forever.

 

In other words, I finally found my voice and decided to use it.

 

Since then, one thing has really struck me. There is a definite double standard in acceptable ways to act when you’re an author.

 

Traditional publishing authors...

Celebrate your release day with photos, tweets, FB announcements, contests, giveaways, retweeted tweets of others... In other words, a party of sorts. The party is free to continue with excitement over every new step into the world your book takes.

 

Self published authors... If you even mention your publishing date in tweets there will be followers lost. If you try to do a contest or giveaway people will pretend they don't know you. If you mention your book more than once you are a spammer. If you try to be excited you shall be shunned.

 

Ok, I understand that by self publishing I have 'something to prove' that a traditionally published author doesn't. The reader doesn't have the guarantee that a handful of professionals have agreed in the merits of my book beforehand. I'm telling you I feel confident in this work, which generally means I've edited it to a perfectionists degree and had a lot of feedback from various readers. But still, until enough reviews are posted, you'll just have to take a chance on me. Ok, that's fine. I'm comfortable with that. I chose that.

 

What I don't understand is why I have to act like this accomplishment is somehow less celebratory than any other writer's accomplishment. Why do I need to pretend?

 

I worked hard and I'm excited.

 

That doesn't mean I expect everyone I know to read it. In fact, if it's not your genre or it doesn't sound appealing to you, then please don't read it. That's not our goal.

 

Also, I'm not talking about every other tweet being a plea to come buy my book. Heck, the authors who do that, traditional or self published, annoy me and I don't follow them. But if you didn't mind me tweeting about #amwriting when I had nothing published, then why are you so offended when I tweet about #ampublishing? They are both involved processes and they are both part of my job, but one brings you followers and the other is taboo. I don't get it.

 

So, if my book is free on Amazon for a day and I tweet about it, please don't be offended. If Starbucks was giving away free coffee at all the shops in my state I might tweet that too. It doesn't mean you have to come and get one. It also doesn't mean I will now go on to tell you every hour all day long. Because that's annoying, not informative. But I hope you'll understand and allow a little excitement about my job now and then. I don't do it to pressure you or force things down your throat. I do it because it matters to me. I do it because it is a small part of my every day. And that is what we're sharing, isn't it?

 

So please, don't hate me just because I’m happy with the choice I've made. Maybe we're on similar journeys, or distinctly different ones, but either way I think we should be able to enjoy and celebrate those journeys together. Don't you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

FREAK by Jennifer Hillier

The one thing that just kept occurring to me as I read this book was that it should be called Freaks, because one Freak seems to draw out more.

Hillier does a great job at suspense. She gives you enough hints and foreshadowing that you are are not shocked by the characters true natures, but you're left wondering just how they will tie together right up until the end. She weaves an intricate and well crafted story that you will not want to put down until you see it through.

The crime scene you won't want to see, but can't look away from... Freak takes right up where Creep left off and draws you further in to the minds of crime fighters, victims, and of course FREAKs.
As of today In Her Blood has had 1,015 kindle downloads. Yes, that's a comma. When I set out to publish my first novel about 6 weeks ago, I tried to keep realistic expectations. I thought that perhaps given enough time a couple hundred people might discover and read my book. Now, most of those downloads have been free, I'll be the first to admit. But over 1k people could potentially be reading what I wrote down on a dozen to-do lists 5 years ago. That to me is unbelievable. And amazing. And humbling. I feel blessed to have known their story first so I could share it with you. Thank you to everyone who has invested the time to read this book. You make what I do not only fun but totally rewarding too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Books

Both book 1 and 2 of the Her Blood series are free to download today, January 1st, on Kindle. Stop by and take a look if you like paranormal young adult. The next book in the series will be out in the Summer of 2013.

Thanks for taking a look at IN HER BLOOD and THROUGH HER BLOOD today!