Happy New Year!

fireworks-file1

So, it has been forever since I have updated this, but you know- holidays and stuff.  I had a really nice Winter Break with the family and my house isn’t completely trashed.  Win-win.

Resolutions and Such

So, this is the time of year when many people are determined to do a thing (or many things): lose weight, time manage better, achieve a specific career or family goal, etc.  I am on that boat and not.  I started my health “resolution” on Christmas and so far have been successful.  Fingers crossed I keep that momentum.  I also encourage reading resolutions, whether it be to expand your genre selection or to read more books.  I tried for one a week last year and this year have upped it to 80 for the year, which is not quite two books a week.  We’ll see what happens.

Perhaps the larger resolution I have is to keep plugging away at this writing thing and see if I can make something come of itSo, there will be regular writing happening this year, but more importantly there will be a lot of efforts to send the Theodore Erickson book out to see if I can get it published.  It will be a lot of waiting and seeing, but fingers crossed I can get a book out for the overwhelming (to me) number of people who have personally messaged me or approached me in the street to ask about it.  I am excited to get chugging away at that and have great hope that I will be successful.  Who knows?  Self publishing is an option if all else fails.

Out of curiosity, how many people would be interested in short stories regarding the Theodore Erickson world being published on this website?  I feel bad making you all wait for the book.  In all likelihood, the short stories wouldn’t have much to do with the book that I am trying to sell, but would give more backstory to some characters.

Anyway, whatever your resolution is, I hope that you have great success this year.  However, I am a bigger fan of not making resolutions and just having specific goals to fulfill on your particular path in life.  Remember, it doesn’t need to be January 1st to try to be a better you, you can make that choice every day- every new moment.  You are only as stuck as you let you be.  (I think Oprah said something like that at one time and I have held onto it).

Neoverse Anthology News

In anthology news, I still have part of a box of books left at home, but I am going to have to mail it back really soon, so let me know if you want one.  $12 if I can hand it off to you personally, $13 if it needs to be mailed (comparable to the presale pricing of the book).  By the end of this month I will have to send whatever I have left back, so let me know ASAP.  You can message me through the blog OR you can private tweet me @S_A_Rohrbaugh.

Rogue One

Okay, now that part is over and I can talk about Star Wars.  My inner nerd is showing, sorry, but if you have not seen that movie you definitely should.  I ALMOST like it better than movies in the original trilogy.  Good stuff.  Certainly the best of the prequels and on par with “The Force Awakens” in my book.  It fills a lot of plot holes that bothered me about the initial trilogy and it makes the Rebellion look like a real organization.  It shows just how much they sacrificed.  It is actually one of the better movies I have seen all year.  Future Star Wars movies are going to have a lot to live up to.

Well, I think that’s all for now, folks.  I hope your 2017 is amazing.  Keep reading!

 

 

 

Come See Me!

booktree

Long time, no write.  I hope nobody harmed their relatives this Thanksgiving.  Turkey and all the sides was the reason there hasn’t been a post in a while.  So sorry, but it had to be done.  Quality time with family and such.

So, the holiday season is upon us!  No matter what holiday you celebrate (or none at all) I hope the next month gives you great joy as we settle into the cold air and dark nights that winter brings.  Here’s to hot chocolate and warm fires.

…And My Book Signing

I am kicking off this holiday season with a bang by doing my VERY FIRST BOOK SIGNING.  The thing is still happening.  I received my two boxes of books in the mail yesterday and I will be ready to sell and sign with Santa.  Well, Santa will be taking pictures with the kids nearby, anyway.  I don’t have enough star power to sign with Santa.  That’s a whole other level.

I will be one of many vendors at Colfax, WA’s Winterfest this year.  It’s a fun thing to do, especially if you have kids.  There will be a Festival of Trees, crafts for kids set up and lots of local booths selling everything from art to jewelry.  Santa and I will be there from 3 to 5:30 (I might stick around until 6).  Be sure to bring checks or cash, as I don’t have the fancy card reader thing that attaches to the smart phones.

The Christmas parade and fireworks start at 6 pm.  It is lots of fun.  If you are in the area you should definitely head to the Whitman County Library and the Event Center next door.  Just in case you don’t live in Colfax and want to map it via your technology of choice, here is the library’s address:

102 S Main St., Colfax, WA 99111

From 6 to 6:30 pm Main Street will be closed to traffic because of the parade (and hopefully fireworks- usually there is fireworks).  I hope to see you all there!

Other Writing Related Things

I have now been asked several times now since my last post when the book about Theodore Erickson and his worlds is coming out.  Unfortunately, for that to happen I would have to find someone to publish the entire thing.  It is written.  I am working hard to find someone to publish it, hopefully soon.  So, it doesn’t look like it will be out there within the next year, but here’s hoping.  In the meantime, I am well into the second book in the would-be series.

As always, I am looking for writing competitions to enter, so if you find a good one, tweet me @S_A_Rohrbaugh or you can message me through the website.  Until next time, everyone, happy reading!

The Art of Self-Promotion?

Sleepless nights are ahead for me, guys.  I am slowly making my way through the Writer’s Market guide I picked up from the library, and if anything is panic inducing, it is this book.  I finally made it to the D’s in the agent section!  And I still have 3/4 of the book left to go, including every single publisher.  Wah, wah, wah.  The sheer number of options is both startling and overwhelming, and yet I know for a fact that this industry is incredibly difficult to break into.

It seems like the most important thing to do is to establish a base of readership.  However, if you can’t get published, that seems like a difficult thing to do.  Now, I have been published once, so I have hope that there will be more opportunities, but it seems to me that a big piece of this process is just getting your name out there.  The general suggestion seems to be anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 regular readers.  If you want the big 6-figure book deals, you are looking at 100,000 or more.  Obviously, I have my work cut out for me.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Knowledge is power, right?  So, now that I know that this seems to be the magic formula I have been considering ways to grow my so-called “fan base” (I feel totally awkward using that phrase, but I suppose that is what it would be).  One option I have right now, since I have a short story in Threads: A NeoVerse Anthology, is that I can do a book signing.

Gasp!  What?!  This was very near my exact reaction when the good people at the Whitman County Library suggested that I do just that.  My brain still can’t wrap itself around the idea.  However, it looks like it is a thing that is going to happen.  On December 1st, I will be hanging out with Santa and signing books at the Event Center next to the library in Colfax, WA.  So, if you live in the Palouse area, or Eastern Washington in general, you should totally come and talk to me.  Heck, if you live in Idaho you might consider a jaunt over.  I would really love to see what people think of the story.

I might even be selling books.  So, if you don’t already have a physical copy, you can pick one up from me.  I cannot describe to you the level of excitement and anxiety that I am faced with at this thought.  I am even thinking about printing out bookmarks with my picture and website information on it for the occasion.

This may sound incoherent to you.  Why be anxious at all?  Why not accept the awesome and go with it?  Honestly?  I think I am incapable of not seeing this all as incredibly surreal and just a tad egotistical.  Keep in mind, I have had very minor success.  What is going to happen if I actually get the full book with Theodore Erickson published?  We will cross that bridge when/if we get there, but just this little taste has left me wanting so much more.

Onwards and Upwards

So, that’s the latest.  I am going to do a book signing.  Until then, I will continue to research where I can send the Theodore Erickson book (amongst the other books I have written), hopefully actually send it off to someone and maybe look for another contest or two to enter while I wait anxiously for a response.

As more things become solid in the book signing, I will talk more about it, but I couldn’t keep quiet until I knew all the details.  Impatience will be the end of me.

Until next time, keep reading!

 

Things Keep Happening

Greetings!  I know it has been another couple of weeks since my last post, but life is slightly insane right now.

News About “Threads: A NeoVerse Anthology”

The roll-out for “Threads” has been really educational for me.  I have been in regular contact with NeoVerse’s PR people.  My understanding is that the first run of the books sold out on Amazon and the second is doing really well.  They have also developed a Kindle version of the book, which I am told has the full illustration impact of the paper book and is only $3, so if you are interested in purchasing it, but don’t want to spend the full amount for the actual book, that might be an option for you.

As for my part in all of this, supposedly when I receive my own copies of the books I will get fliers to pass out in the area.  So far, I haven’t received them, so we will see what happens.  I e-mailed them the other day about it, I imagine I will get a response soon.  I was interviewed by the Whitman County Gazette for placing in the book, which was unexpected and exciting.  I didn’t get first through third, so I just assumed no one would really care except for me.  That piece ran in the September 21st paper.

Conundrums for the Future

Probably the thing that is most confusing to me about all of this is how to move forward from here.  It is awesome that the short story made it into this book, but now I am at a loss in determining what to do next.  I have written a book using my “short story” as the first chapter, but I can’t for the life of me decide if I should just try and submit it to publishers on my own or try to get an agent.  I think I am going to have to do some more research to figure it out, but the goal is to get the whole book and hopefully an entire series out there.  I have roughly mapped out a five or six book series and have high hopes for it.

Currently, at the library, there is a book with tips and tricks in it waiting for me.  I should really go and get it so I can figure it out.  In the meantime, I am on the lookout for other competitions I might be able to enter to add to my resume, so to speak.  I tend to write fantasy, sci-fi and horror so it is very difficult for me to find competitions that seem worth the time and anxiety.  I suppose the best thing I can do for now is, to steal a phrase from Dori, just keep swimming.  Things will fall into place as they are meant to.

A Word About Fall

On a personal note, I could not be more excited to be essentially bathing in all things apple and pumpkin right now.  Fall is my favorite season and already, even with the craziness in the world and in my life, I feel a little more centered because my favorite season is upon us.  Readers, I hope that you also take some time out from the madness that is literally everywhere in the news, to enjoy the changing leaves and cooler temperatures.

As always, happy reading!  Until next time!

The Anthology is Out!

threadsanthology

Well, the official release date is on the 15th, but I know several people who pre-ordered who have already received their copy.  I still haven’t seen a physical book, but that warm feeling in the pit of my stomach is taking over, regardless.  Something I wrote is in print somewhere!  I know it seems like a small accomplishment, but to me it is huge.

By the way, look at that cover art!  Many thanks go to NeoVerse for creating such an amazing looking book.  The picture for my story is pretty much on the center back cover (it’s the giant hippo with the fedora on its head).  If you would like to purchase this beautiful collection of stories, you can buy it at Threads: A Neoverse Anthology.

What Comes Next?

Now that it is actually released, I find myself analyzing what the next steps are.  The short story in the anthology is really just the first chapter in the first book in a five or six book series.  I have written that first book in its entirety, I just need to find a way to get that published now.  So, I will be submitting another manuscript.

You may be wondering how that works.  Honestly, I am still working it out.  There are a handful of publishing companies that accept manuscripts from unrepresented authors.  If those companies don’t work out, then I have to consider getting an agent in order to get other companies to look at anything I write.  Of course, self-publishing is always an option, but it is very expensive to do it correctly and you don’t have the advertising backing/experience that most publishing companies give you.

As I try to sell this book/series, I will keep on writing (I really can’t turn off my brain) and hope for the best.  I have always written because it is something that I just NEED to do.  It fulfills me in a way that most things don’t and because of that, any time I spend towards this is always worth it, no matter how things go in the future.

As I write, I will also continue to teach.  The school year has started at the pre-school program that I teach at again.  This year I get to teach the 2 and 3 year-olds, which is a lot of fun.  It’s hard to feel bad when you are surrounded by little ones that are so interested in everything that is going on around them.  Hopefully, class is as much fun for them as it is for me.

One thing is for sure, even as I continue to teach, being published in this anthology is not the last step for me, it is the first step of a journey- one that I hope you all can share with me.  With a lot of luck and some hard work, I think I at least have a shot of getting more published.  As always, happy reading!  I will see you all some Sunday soon!

Harder to Breathe

Sorry I missed last week, everybody.  I tried to log onto my website, but they were doing some work on it and I couldn’t and then I forgot in the days after.  There isn’t a ton going on in my life, except, oh yeah- I have bronchitis.

I have never had bronchitis before, but my gosh-darn cough just kept getting worse and last weekend I relented and went to the doctor.  Sure enough, it was bronchitis.  They were worried it had turned into pneumonia too (thank goodness it hadn’t).  So, I have been suffering at home for a little over two weeks now with little to do except cough my lungs out, watch/read the news and read my books.  My poor children are bored out of their minds because every time I walk around for five or ten minutes I have to sit back down again.

My eldest daughter turned 9 yesterday, and I really couldn’t do much with her because of this infernal cough.  I have been told it generally lasts 3 weeks, so here’s hoping it is on the outs.  A. had fun though- she got to go to someone else’s birthday party and eat their cake and ice cream as her party is next weekend.  We also made her a feast of her choice that night for dinner.  Next weekend will be the real party, but we celebrated as best as we could given the state I was in.

Threads

The last I heard about the anthology is that they were doing final proofs.  I am not sure what that means exactly.  I think they are getting ready to do the final printing.  I am crossing my fingers that it will be mailed out any day.

I am getting antsy for school to start again, mostly because I have stories swirling in my head again and it is just too hard to write for any consistent amount of time with the girls home from school.  I have a whole list of things I want to do- it is the actual doing them that is the problem.

The Election and Other Things

So, I have watched/read WAY too much news these past couple of weeks.  I have landed on the candidate of my “choice”- really just a vote against the other candidate.  The last couple of elections I have been really lucky to actually want to vote for a candidate, so this one is a major bummer.

Even the Olympics can’t bring me out of the funk of such terrible election choices, something I normally LOVE to watch.  This year, the Olympics feel tainted.   I am more worried about the athletes’ safety (from both disease and violence) than who wins the medals.  I didn’t even watch the opening ceremony this year.  Go USA, I guess.

Still, the Olympics have given me a new reading challenge- to try to read books by authors from the different countries that participate, or at least medal in the games.  I figure that will expand my world perspective a bit, something I always try to do in one way or another.  So, there’s that.

On that note, happy reading!  Have an awesome week!

One Foot in Front of the Other

I feel like my life might be just as insane as the country/world right now.  Everyone says that life is supposed to slow down in the summer, but I feel like mine keeps ratcheting upwards a few notches.  I’ve had barely any time to read (a dismal 3 books this month, when the rest of the year I was averaging about 10) and no time to write, except for in this blog.

I am currently trying to apply to be a substitute teacher for the local school district.  Writing is my first love, but I really enjoy teaching too, and right now there is more money in teaching.  However, the application process is very involved and my brain feels about ready to burst.  At least, for now, I am done doing things and merely waiting for a response.

Threads (Neoverse Anthology) Update!

However, cool things keep on happening.  By far the most exciting thing that happened this week is the e-mail I received from my publisher about the book.  I got a full on digital sneak preview!  It is very impressive looking for a collection of stories.  The cover art has me more excited than I was.  Before now, I hadn’t seen it all together, just pieces.  Now it has me amped for the release.

They have decided to name the anthology “Threads” because it is a collection of different threads (storylines).  I like it much better than “Neoverse December 2015 Anthology.”  I have been given a deadline of next week to get any last minute typos/errors fixed, so I feel like it will be released soon.  Here’s hoping.

The Surreal is Real

Which means that something I wrote will be in a book, relatively soon.  I wish could wrap my mind around that better.  This is just a short story, too.  I can’t imagine how I would feel if I got an actual book published.  So, I just keep stepping forward. I love this path that I am on right now, and as tired as I have been lately I can’t imagine doing anything differently.  I am one of the few people who have the privilege of doing the things that they truly love about 80% of the time.

To add to the unreality of my life right now, my oldest is about to turn 9.  I can still remember this tiny, smiling curly haired girl exploring everything around her.  She has retained so much of that joy, innocence and curiosity that I find myself marveling at her regularly.  Except, now she is taller and beginning to form her own thoughts and opinions.  Where did all the time go?

Perhaps a more pressing question is where time is heading.  I watched the disaster that was the Republican National Convention off and on this week.  I can’t say I was impressed by anything I saw.  I doubt I will be reassured by the Democratic National Convention next week.  It’s going to be a LONG election season, guys, and America already has the longest election season in the world.

Looking Forward

However, as much as the Donald makes me want to cower in a corner and rock myself and Hilary causes me to roll my eyes and grumble under my breath, what can I do?  I will have to figure out who the heck to vote for, but other than that, it is out of my hands.  So, what choice do I (and indeed the vast majority of Americans) have but to look ahead and hope for something good to come out of this, no matter how bleak it seems right now.

So, I put one foot in front of the other.  As “Hamilton” says so eloquently, “I am the one thing in life I can control.”  It’s good life advice.  Focus on the stuff you can change and hope that it turns out for the best.  We have little other options.

Well, that’s it for this week, folks.  I hope the coming week holds happiness for you.  Happy reading!