Saturday, June 25, 2011

Making the Rounds

I have to give a speech next month about online marketing and this week I find myself working on just that. Nothing like hands-on preparation.

There are several places I lurk around online. Other than this blog, I've got a website for my novel, Finding Angel, which will be getting updated eventually. And I'm a Featured Author on New Authors' Fellowship. Those are the main stops for me online, as well as Facebook. These are pretty easy to keep up with. Planning blog posts is part of my normal schedule. I check in on FB daily.

But there are other places I need to visit and post stuff now and then, and they tend to get hit all at once when I--finally--remember them.

This week the Kindle version of There Was a Crooked House, which contains my short horror story "Cat Call," has released. That has to go on my Amazon page and then on Goodreads . As does Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens, which has my story "Armored and Dangerous"--this one is available for pre-order right now. (BTW--if you're local and want to purchase the Chicken Soup book directly from me I'm finding out about ordering them.) This isn't too big of a deal--as my stories are released I post about them and add them to my pages, and then I update my brag books.

Yes, I print out the stories I have published online and of course keep copies of the print zines I'm featured in. At present, I've had to split my stuff into two separate binders--one for non-fiction and interviews, and one for fiction and artwork. Feels pretty good :).

It doesn't stop there, though.

I've noticed lately that everybody and their brother seem to be creating and joining social network sites. There are far too many to keep track of! I've got my blogs, my site, and memberships on Facebook and Goodreads. I joined Linkedin and find that a complete waste--I'm never over there. Ever. I'm also technically a member of a couple of other networks, like Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers, but they are sorely neglected by me. So, I'm stopping here for now. Until someone comes up with a way for me to update all those places at once--as well as my author pages and such--I simply can't add anymore.

And of course there are forums all over that I've joined and pretty much never visit. Making online connections is important, but it is time-consuming!

My other big project has been spiffing up the website for one of my local writers groups,Brandon Christian Writers. Until this weekend it was just a blog page, but I've now added other pages with info about our meetings and members. And since I'm a member, info about me has to go on there :). This also happens to be the group I'll be speaking to about online marketing--which is right back where I started this blog post. No wonder I feel like I'm running in circles!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yes, it's Writing.

Another day of randomness here. This time, my list of things that aren't writing, but count:

1--Editing a friend's short story.

2--Critiquing a friend's manuscript.


4--Brainstorming back cover blurbs for anthologies.

5--Answering questions about viruses for a friend who is doing real writing.

6--Blogging lists of randomness.

7--Planning out blog posts of actual purpose.

8--Discussing writing in the comments on someone else's blog.

9--Outlining a speech I'll be giving on online marketing.

10--Freaking out about number nine.

11--Approving the galleys of my stories that are coming out in anthologies soon.

12--Dusting my desk so my computer doesn't overheat.

13--Daydreaming. Yep, I'm counting it.

See, I've just been too busy "writing" to write.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feeling Random

Not sure why, but kind of in the mood for random statements this morning.

Some things about me:

My "Love Language" is words of affirmation. So, you have to temper the bad with good. Tell me what I've done right before you pick on what I've done wrong.

I love watching sci-fi, but not so much reading it.

I hate (most) literary fiction, but it is by no means a reflection on my IQ. Call me lowbrow, I don't care.

It finally occurred to me that when the fitness gurus say not to work out after 7:00 pm, they mean normal people, not me. I'm a night-owl, usually up till midnight or later, so 9:00 at night works just fine.

I'm beginning to understand the appeal of adopting dogs that are past the puppy stage.

No matter how hard I try, I will never enjoy cooking.

I am completely OCD about things being organized. But my tolerance for dust on said organized objects is rather high.

Coffee is essential for a happy Kat.

Alone time is even more essential. (Combine the coffee with alone time, and I have heaven.)

I've become completely intolerant of heat and humidity, which is not a good thing considering I live in Florida.

Also not good for a Floridian--I hate the beach.

Even though it is completely and totally hokey, I love the show "Wizards of Waverly Place."

I love the number 13. (Therefore I am stopping my list here.)

There you have it. Thirteen random things about me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Recap

If you haven't read the discussion going on at NEW AUTHORS' FELLOWSHIP, head over there now and read my post "Put Down Your Sword...and Write." Then hit Tymothy Longoria's "Writing by Faith: My Writing Testimony." And then, my follow-up, "Christian Fishbowl." Finally(?), this morning Robynn Tolbert posted her thoughts with "The Art of Witness, or A Huge Can of Worms."

I never thought that one post would lead to so much discussion. At least we NAFers seem to all be on the same page. And the comments, as Robynn points out, have all been civil.

Now, a recap of my weekend:

Roller skating for the first time in six years. (With my daughter at her friend's birthday party.) I fell only once, and it was because my own daughter cut in front of me.

Sitting through church feeling like I was stuck on an airplane next to "one of those" people--you know, the kind that thinks half of your seat belongs to them. The kind that wears so much cologne you are gagging. The kind that talks and talks LOUDLY to the person they're with...sigh. I'm lucky I heard a word of the sermon.

Swimsuit shopping. Why do I bother? Why not just poke myself in the eye with a screwdriver? It would be less painful :P.

Dog-sitting for a friend. She's an awesome pooch, but she wants more than anything on the planet to eat my cat. So kitty is locked in one end of the house. At least the guest dog is doing well with our dogs. They are all having fun eating each other's food and sleeping on each other's dog beds--and thinking they are being so sneaky for doing so.

Watching TRON. Mmmm, okay. Was anyone else freaked out by the CG effects used to make Jeff Bridges look younger? Creepy.

Reading. Finished a book called The Maze Runner. It was....meh. So now I'm on to Nor Iron Bars a Cage, by Caprice Hokstad.

There, do with that what you will.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just Two Things

Not a lot to report today--just two quick things.

I blogged on New Authors' Fellowship yesterday. Apparently, my most attention-getting post yet. The comments piled up quickly, and a couple of people mentioned they'd be linking to the post on other blogs. Wow. I'm not even sure what to say to that! I was only expressing my views on the way Christian writers seem to choose camps and war over what kind of Christian writing is the "right" kind. If you'd like to read it, here's the link:

A fellow writer, Jeff Chapman, emailed me to let me know the Table of Contents for the There Was a Crooked House anthology had been posted on the Pill Hill Press Forum. Looks like my story, "Cat Call," made first position, followed immediately by Jeff's story, "The Crooked House of Coins." I'm not sure if that "means" anything, or the order was random or whatever, but it's still rather cool. Looks like the release date will hopefully be sometime in July. Here's the full list of stories and authors:

Cat Call by Kat Heckenbach

The Crooked House of Coins by Jeff Chapman

Glass House by Heidi Mannan

Don’t Let the Rain Come Down by Gerald Costlow

With Breath Too Sweet LaShawn M. Wanak

Unexpected Guests in My Basement by Charles Day

Aliens, Angels, and Arsenic by M. Kaye Moon

The Other Side of Silence by Fiona Glass

Wrong Side Down by Rob Rosen

Her by Walter Campbell

Little Girl Blue by Kevin McClintock

Crooked Time by Samuel Gibb

Summer Schwartz and the Crazy House by David Perlmutter

Remembered Sins by H.J. Hill

Olverston Grange by M. Leon Smith

That’s What Little Boys Are Made Of by Emma Ennis

Every Choice by Mary-Jean Harris

The Mobile Home by Gregory L. Norris

22 Beckett St. by Deb Eskie

I Am But Its Instrument by George Wilhite

Nightmares Every Night by Gary Buettner

Metamorphosis by Eva Glynn Stephens

The Nanny by Susan York Meyers

Eviction Notice by John H. Dromey

Can’t Stop Growing Old by Patrick Shand

The Wyandotte Haunting by K.A. Laity

The Girl in the Crooked House by Katherine Simmons

Clown Fish by Richard Jay Goldstein

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

True Talent

I'm reading Earthbow Volume 2 by Sherry Thompson. The book is really making me think. Yes, about the story, and the characters--but I mean beyond that. It's making me think, again, about the subjectivity of the entire publishing industry.

You see, Sherry spent many, many years trying to get her books published. She's fought an uphill battle the entire time. You can read her entire story HERE if you'd like. The point is, she ended up finally being taken on by a small publisher because her attempts at getting published by larger houses failed. Even an agent wasn't able to help her. Even placing third in the speculative category of the ACFW Genesis contest in 2006 did no good.

Many agents and editors and even published authors will tell you that it must be her writing. Something isn't up to snuff or she would have landed a bigger publisher. Something that is the fault of the writer.


Sherry's writing is fabulous. Not just good. Not just publishable. Seabird--the first book in the series--immediately became one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time. It was one of those books I began to read, and before long had been completely swept away.

And yet, she struggled to find a publisher. I simply don't get it.

I'll tell you this--Sherry gives me hope. She may be saddled to a small press that doesn't have huge reach. She may not be making best-seller lists (*yet*). But there is NOTHING that would convince me it's because of lack of talent--which tells me that no one can point a finger at me and tell me with 100% certainty that the reason I'm not getting snatched up by a big publisher is lack of talent. And that is enough to make me keep going.

Sherry, you have truly been an inspiration to me. And big publisher or not, big sales or not, you are one of my favorite writers ever.

Folks, please, check out Seabird and Earthbow Volumes 1 and 2. You won't be sorry.

Amazon links: Seabird, Earthbow 1, and Earthbow 2.