Goodreads Giveaway for New Superhero Book

Hi friends! I’m working hard to get out my new novella by Christmas. It’s called A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and it’s about Tori and Joe’s Christmas Eve wedding – amidst a Christmastime crime spree. (Like any Christmas, right?)

While it’s part of the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, it’s not book two. If you’re familiar with Unexpected Superhero, it starts with Tori finding out that she has a super power when she returns from her honeymoon. Much as I want to keep the books focused on urban fantasy, I like playing with the fun romances among the characters, so I’m writing novellas and short stories to sprinkle throughout the series that are more like superhero romantic comedies.

The first short story was “Superhero in Disguise” about Tori and Joe’s fun romantic meeting on Halloween night. A Very Merry Superhero Wedding picks up a week before they get married on Christmas Eve. And here’s the cool part – you can win a free copy!

I’ve created a Goodreads Giveaway for readers in the United States (I’ll try to do an international one later) to have a chance to win five (5) copies of the paperback when it comes out at Christmas. You can click on the link below to sign up. Good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding by Kitty Bucholtz

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding

by Kitty Bucholtz

Giveaway ends December 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

 

Goodreads Giveaway Winners!

Hello Friends!

Shonna and Stephanie and I are looking into ways we can continue to be of service to you. We’ll be putting up occasional posts about things that may be helpful, so please continue to check in at Routines for Writers. Soon I’ll be announcing a new class that I’ll be teaching in the fall. It will be a video-based class on how to self-publish your book. Details will be posted on the Classes page on my own web site.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to announce the winners of the Goodreads Giveaway that ran from mid-June to mid-July. All ten winners received an autographed print copy of Unexpected Superhero. (Books should have already arrived at your homes by now, my friends!)

Thank you to the other 662 people who entered the giveaway! I’m so pleased that you were interested in reading the book. Thank you for adding Unexpected Superhero to your To Be Read queue.

Super_ip09_FINALCongratulations to –
Jessica from Brampton, Ontario
Trannae from San Dimas, California
Wendy from Abilene, Kansas
Emily from Yuba City, California
Winnie from Vancouver, British Columbia
Krystel from Sudbury, Ontario
Robyn from Stratford, Ontario
Kai from Los Angeles, California
Marie from Pomona, California
Julie from King George, Virginia

Happy Reading! 😀

My Creativity is Currently in the Warehouse (13)

I’m on a Warehouse 13 marathon right now. Even though we’re watching episodes we’ve seen, starting at Season 1, Episode 1, I still love it. That’s the great thing about stories you love. You can enjoy them over and over again.

The other thing about stories you love is that they inspire creativity. Watching episode after episode of Pete and Myka grousing at each other, competing with each other, and always having each other’s back presses all my creative buttons. When Pete asked Myka if she was afraid they were the Red Shirts, and she said yes, John and I laughed out loud when Pete replied, “First, we aren’t going to die. Second, I’m so pumped you know what that means.” [paraphrased]

Over the last 20 episodes, I’ve gone from just enjoying the show for its own sake to thinking about my work and how I can make it funnier, more interesting, tense without being over-serious, adding death and destruction if necessary without a Law & Order feel.  All the artifacts and the things that they do make me think about what I can add to my stories, whether fantastical stories or “regular” ones.

One of the “ah-ha” moments in creating my current romantic comedy series, Strays of Loon Lake (Love at the Fluff and Fold, book one in the series, will be out later this year), was when I decided that a local dog was the frisky father of a lot of puppies in town. Suddenly I had this funny element that I could play up.

In addition to a lot of TV watching, I’ve upped my hours of reading lately. It feels soooo much better to be reading more, like I’m eating healthier or something. I’m reading a lot of nonfiction on writing, self-publishing, and neuroscience. But I’m also reading a lot more fiction than I have in the last year or so. I’ve been reading inspirational, historical and contemporary romance, young adult books, paranormal and urban fantasy books and short stories, some horror, and some suspense. (Trying to track it all on Goodreads, but forgetting to add the books every time.)

Now here’s a chicken-and-egg thought: in the midst of this burst of desire to pull creative stories IN, I’ve also been writing more, getting creative stories OUT. Did the extra reading inspire me to write more? Or did the deadlines for the two anthologies I’m in push me to gobble up more stories for inspiration? My answer is YES.

Add to all that, my jump from wanting to know more about how the brain works to finding books explaining it to me, and I’ve added yeast to the bread mix. I mean that in terms of rising and growing, not in terms of becoming gaseous and fermenting. Though the fermenting part is making me think of wine, which reminds me of living in Australia, which reminds me of some of the unexpectedly creative pieces I wrote in uni. (Now that I have Australia-brain, my brain is using Australian terms. “Uni” is short for university, i.e., my master’s in creative writing program.) And using Aussie vocabulary reminds me of my friends whom I miss terribly, which reminds me I was going to call Verizon this week and get that international calling plan, which makes me think about having some international characters in my superhero novels, which makes me think of the Cowboy character I created for a short story that went nowhere. Now I just need to figure out how to get an Australian superhero named Cowboy, and his super horse, across the ocean to Michigan where my superheroes are living.

And THAT is how creativity so often works. It’s a bunch of very quick, sometimes illogical jumps in the synapses of the brain that lead from one idea to another. The more you allow and train your brain to make these jumps, the more creative you can be. Sometimes you can even get more creative more quickly.

Many writers have named the part of their unconscious that does this work. Jennifer Crusie calls her unconscious “the girls in the basement” I believe. Anne Lamott says in Bird by Bird that her friend Carpenter says there is a little boy in the cellar handing up characters through the cellar door.

I get this “down below consciousness” idea, but I’ve rarely, if ever, been in a basement that made me feel happier than any other room in the building (even the very cool basement of the State Library of New South Wales isn’t as awesome as the Shakespeare Room there; that’s a room I could be locked in forever!), and I’ve never been in a cellar that I wanted to stay in for hours. (Not even a wine cellar.)

I had problems being nice to that creative part of myself. I found myself whipping it to give me more, faster. It didn’t produce much, so I whipped it more. Then I read and really got the idea that you needed to be nice for the unconscious to flow. But basements and cellars didn’t seem that nice to me.

So I created a character named Katie, a little girl about 10 or 12 who plays in the sunroom or in the huge beautifully well-kept backyard. (I live in a small apartment.) Katie loves to read and watch TV and movies that make her laugh or make her a little scared but that always end well. She likes to pretend after the movie or book ends that she is the hero who vanquished the enemy and tamed (rather than killed) the dragon. Or she is the heroine who helps the hero save the day and they live together happily ever after.

I like Katie. I like her so much that I like to play with her even though she’s a little girl and I’m a grown <cough> woman. She’s fun. And when she’s making me laugh or making me wonder what will happen next in her one-girl backyard plays, I find myself writing more words with more joy than ever before.

As it turns out, both Katie and I love watching Warehouse 13, and mostly for the same reasons. Katie is giving me ideas about “artifact”-like things I can put in our stories. She wants me to put in more pop culture references like Red Shirts to make people who get the jokes laugh. I tell Katie this is too much work, I’d have to do more research, keep better notes, and I remind her that I too often lose my notes-on-napkins anyway so really–

Katie interrupts me with some cute begging and funny faces and tells me that surely these touches will make me really famous and make me heaps of money and (she knows this is the coup de grace) I’ll make people laugh.

I think about it and then consider the alternative. But what if I don’t make people laugh, Katie? What if they think it’s dumb?

And in her properly outraged 10-year-old voice, she shouts, “Then they’re dumb!”

I laugh and shake my head and agree to try harder to be cute and funny like her. And then I start writing and…well, Katie and I like the results.

What about you? Where does your creativity come from?

Promoting Your Book – and More

Hello Friends!! I’m so freakin’ excited – John and I are finally out apartment hunting! Yay! We’ll be moving soon, so today I’m sharing more links and posts that might be helpful for you. Some might be helpful only if you’re self-publishing or thinking about doing so. Others will be helpful for any writer. Enjoy!

A great article by agent Rachelle Gardner about using Goodreads: “Goodreads: 8 Things Writers Should Know”

A story that many writers dream will be their own story one day: A Modern Day Fairy Tale by Jennifer Probst

This looks like it’s a Christian epublisher: BelieversPress

Another article from John Locke about how he created his success: “An Army of Authors and Friends”

This is a helpful article on figuring out what you need to spend in your self-publishing venture:”Epubbing on a Budget” on WG2E (The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing)

And here’s a great article on making your book cover: “The Making of a Bestselling eBook Cover” on WG2E by Jen Talty of Who Dares Wins Publishing

Another cool – and free – educational tidbit I like to partake of is the Booklist webinar. They have all different kinds of topics. Next month, they have one called Picture These: What’s New with Graphic Novels. You can register here. Booklist webinars are at a set time and you dial in via a “meeting” site. You listen to the speakers and watch their slideshow presentation. You can take notes, but later you’ll get an email with a link to the archives where you can watch the video of the whole thing again. Here is a listing of all their upcoming webinars. You can sign up to get an email letting you know about new webinars. That’s what I do.

Remember when iBooks Author software  came out and there was a big hubbub about the terms and conditions? It read like you couldn’t put your book on any retail site except for iBooks. I spoke to an Apple Store employee who said that the “upgrade” to iBooks Author is only a change to the terms and conditions to better explain what you are and aren’t allowed to do. If I understood correctly, what the terms and conditions were trying to convey is that the software only creates a file that uploads to iBooks. To upload your books to other sites, you simply have to use other software. Apparently, that’s all it was saying. I’m going to download the software and check out the T&C. I’ll try to remember to let you know what I find out. Let us know here in the comments if you’ve already checked!

Another interesting article on self-publishinig sales from author Gemma Halliday.

Read more about how The Hunger Games did their social media promotion. It might give you some ideas for promoting your own books.

I haven’t watched this yet, but I love the Pixar story team, and this is a TED talk by Andrew Stanton from Pixar on crafting great stories.

Interested in Amazon’s KDP Select program? Here is one self-published author’s explanation on how it worked for her. Or more to the point, how it didn’t work.

And finally, three suggestions from my friend Kathleen, co-author of Dog Daze, book one of The S.A.V.E. Squad. She and I both use Scrivener, and here are some useful templates from Mel Corbett. Kathleen put a QR (Quick Response) code on her business card, which I thought was totally cool! Here is an article by Athena Grayson explaining QR codes and how you can use them. Just in case you don’t visit this site very often, here is a reminder to bookmark it. Daily Cheap Reads is a site with all kinds of books listed to highlight some of the many potentially good ebooks selling for under $5. I’m pretty sure there is always at least one free ebook listed as well.