For those interested in Book promotion...

I've come across two great blogs today with tons of information on how to promote your latest release. Even pulling one or two ideas could go a long way toward getting your name out there for readers and booksellers.

For ideas on what to do with all your tons of bookmarks you produce, check out the Thursday Thirteen at Bookworm Bags - (I found #2 hilarious)
For 101 ideas for book promotion, check out

Maybe this will inspire you to come up with your own list of ideas for promotion.

In honor of tax day...

and even though my taxes are done I decided that today was the day to get organized and get started on next years taxes. I updated all my expense info from last weekend's trip to NEC and made sure to file the slips in my nice little tax tote. I should be good for awhile... or the end of the year when I once again pull out all my receipts and go through them again. So much for preparation and good thoughts!

Happy Tax Day to all! May you get big refunds or at least have the money to pay what you owe!

Just back from conference

And if you haven't attended one of the NECRWA conferences then you've missed quite a bit. I've been attending since the very first one that they held, back at the hotel near the bay. That was the first conference I'd ever attended. I was very scared, very inexperienced, but I also was very determined. I learned a lot from that first conference. I learned that taking a chance is still a step forward, good or bad. I learned that unless you are open to what others have to say then you will never grow. And I learned that not everyone's experiences will work exactly for you. Now, almost 13 years later those same rules still apply. One of my very good friends and resilient travelling companions had an appointment with an agent. But after an uneasy night with little sleep and bit of nerves she feared that her appointment didn't go well. She spent the better portion of the day feeling as if she'd screwed up. I know that feeling well. I've had many a times and especially after my own disastrous editor appointment the previous year. When it comes to those awkward moments it's so easy to beat yourself up over it. But really, it goes back to those lessons I learned at my first conference. If you don't put yourself out there then you have given up your opportunity, your chance at fate. It's still your choice. If you don't take it then you are still comfortably where you were before. You just may not move forward. Possible rejection is a great deterrent, but great success should be a great motivator. By stepping out of her comfort zone she got at least a request or redirection. That is more then she would have gotten had she not tried. I am very proud of her. And I shall follow her lead.

Good news...

or at least it is for me and for anyone looking for a good book in large print. Obsidian will be released in October as a large print! The publisher decided to consider it a "clean" read meaning that there are no words stronger than a damn, the sex is off the page (or behind closed doors) and there is no graphic violence. Lucky for me that Obsidian met the requirements. I just glad that there are going to be a whole new range of people out there who will get a chance to enjoy a great read.

Ghoulies and Ghosties and Orbs... Oh My!

One thing that I don't talk a lot about is the paranormal side of my writing. I had thought to do a weekly post on some part of the paranormal, but with the influx of birthdays over the last couple of months I haven't made good on my promise. Mainly, when I talk about paranormal I'm not referring to werewolves or vampires. My interests are in ghosts and ghost hunting. It's an interest that my daughter and I share. This is a knowledge that we have been slowly accumulating over the years and using a technological background to prove or disprove. One of the things that my daughter has an interest in is photography and using it in many forms, including proving and disproving ghosts. This brings me to my topic. On our way to Florida last summer we stopped at a rest area and I picked up a brochure for Ghost & Haunt Tour. I won't tell you where they were... and with good reason. The flyer for their tours drives me nuts. You see... they PROMISE that you'll get paranormal pictures. Now before someone gets mad at me let me say that this is completely my opinion. Am I an paranormal expert? No, but then how many of them out there can legally claim that they are. I also know darn well that I'm flying in the face of some of those people out there who think that there is nothing wrong with this, but frankly I seriously doubt that anyone can guarantee this. Think about it. The spirits are not at our command. We can't schedule for them to show up on cue.

Do I think that it is possible to photograph spirits? Yes, I think that they can manifest enough energy at times to form a figure that could be captured on film, but the chances of this happening are very rare and susceptible to certain conditions.

Are orbs spirits? There is no conclusive evidence that orbs are spirits. There are so many factors that figure into it that a picture alone is not enough to constitute the capturing of a spirit on film. Orbs are usually generated by environmental factors such as dirt, dust, bugs. Think about it. You're walking through a room during the day and you notice a trail of dust motes in the sunshine. These will reflect on camera at night with a minimal light source. I myself have seen orbs in my photos. Are they alone evidence of a spirit or haunting? Never on their own and never without first taking into account all of the environmental factors.

Can you catch a spirit on film? My answer would be yes. But again, it would depend on the factors leading up to and after the pictures are taken. My daughter just got a Nikon Coolpic for Christmas (frankly, I'm a little jealous since it's a sweet camera) and it has the option of taking continual pictures by holding down the button. She took one of her brother that would have been a fantastic spirit shot... had he not been very much alive. The movement and speed of the camera caused the pictures to come across as blurred. This can happen if the user is shaking or if the subject is moving at any speed. The movement on the film needs to be separate from the actual subject of the film. Also, in the day and age of photoshop it's always best to go in with a mind to disprove and take it from there. I've seen shots of graveyards that show fluctuating movements of light that trail off as if in motion. The problem with graveyard or outdoor photos is that you can't control the environment.

I've covered a lot here and most of it is common sense. It's my belief and one that is shared with many, but I think anyone who wants to investigate paranormal activities must go with a mind to disprove what you can... and then, give a skeptical eye to what is left.

My .02 for the day.

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