Advanced copies.

I’m looking for Alpha readers. Which is apparently not to be confused with Beta readers. Though if you ask me, Beta reader sounds better. Sorry I couldn’t give you the better title #nexttime. Anyways. The book is (as I mentioned before) 99.9% complete. I want to publish in July (making it a bad time to mention that the month is already half over). So, I’m looking for some final eyes to read it over. It has gone through professional editing, but like any book, I am sure there are still mistakes. Just last night I found the following “It was barely large enough to fit what looked to be an unconformable bed. Which, for those of you who don’t know (like me, I didn’t know) it is an actual word. Just not the right word. Also, I should note that the bed is part of a hospital scene. Just in case your mind had started to wander.

Back to Alpha reading. I’m just looking for overarching observations or anything that would be particularly embarrassing if it was made public. You know. By publishing. And… honestly that’s it. A quick email back with your thoughts and I will be happy. I am hoping to hit that all important publish button by the 27th. So if I can get feedback before then, great!

If you are interested drop me a quick email at writesarawrite(at)gmail.com. Subject heading Alpha team and I will set you up with a bookfunnel link. (Hopefully, probably, most likely, I just signed up for the service, so technological issues aren’t outside the realm of possible). Or you can comment your email and interest below. On the off-chance that there is a huge amount of interest (one can hope), I will limit the list to 20.

And if you need a refresher about what the book is about…. here is the blurb/cover.

She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.
They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Smithsonian archeologist, Roslin Williams gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to excavate the areas where The White House once stood. When she uncovers an Air Force One plane containing human remains and a mysterious briefcase, she’s determined to dig up any information on the airplane and the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in, to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?

 

The-White-House-Files_ebook

 

 

 

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Waiting…. to publish.

They say that waiting is the hardest part. I for one, completely agree. I am 99.9% ready to publish. I have a professional, genre appropriate cover. A book that has gone through 3 separate edits. A blurb. A tag line. I set up my book in kindle, figured out my keywords, price, genre……

And yet. For all of that I still feel completely and totally unprepared. Book 2 isn’t done (22,500 words and counting), I have no idea where to market the book at, how to set up ads, I don’t have a street team, or ARC’s or…. well you get the idea.

Partly, all of this is okay. I do think a lot of it will work itself out. Book 2 will get written (progress is going well), and it is much easier to market a book that is already published than one not published yet at all. All that to say though, my biggest concern is that I won’t give my book the opportunity it needs purely because I don’t know how to market it correctly.

Bad writing is one thing. A boring book, a plot full of holes, unbelievable characters. All of this I can understand. I spent time learning this, I did the bad drafts, the horrible first books that desperately need a rewrite (or a rock, to hide under). Marketing though, not an area that I am as familiar with. I can learn, and I plan to, but in the meantime I feel unprepared. I don’t know if there is anyway to prepare other than to jump in, feet first. I have been standing on the sidelines, reading the forums, asking questions, looking for any piece of advice that might apply. It’s answered a lot of questions, but there are still gaps, ones that I don’t think will be answered by anything other than….. hitting that publish button, seeing what happens and reacting from there.

My goal, was and is, to publish this book in July. A goal I fully plan on making. So whether or not it is this next week or the week after, either way… it’s going to happen.

So anyways. Thats things lately. If you have been wondering what I’ve been up to lately…. it’s primarily involved stalking facebook author groups, writing, and laundry. So. much. laundry.

Chapter One.

The White House Files Excerpt

Sweat dripped down her brow, urged on by the relentless sun that beat down. She rubbed her hand across her forehead, depositing a trail of dirt in its wake.

“Zoom in,” the director said, shoving yet another camera in her face. “Excellent, Roslin excellent. Serious face, just like you are working.”

She wanted to scream that she was working, but she had learned the hard way that any outbursts were seen as viewer bait. Last time she had said something her face had played across every feed for a week. She had endeavored to be as boring as possible since. Maybe then they would take that camera and shove it where the sun didn’t shine. Or at least aim it at her face a little less.

So far it hadn’t been working.

Picking up the trowel she resumed scrapping away at the layers of sediment. She had been digging down inch by inch for days, trapped in her own personal roped off box. It was an archeological dig of utmost importance, one that she had only ever dreamed of being a part of. To be here, now, in the shadow of one of the most influential and iconic buildings in American history, was one of the greatest moments of her career. One that was only slightly marred by the cameras that were now tracking every move she made and broadcasting it across the world.

“Again Roslin, be one with the dirt, feel the dirt,” the director exclaimed excitedly.

If that had been the most aggravating thing that he had ever said, she would have had more patience for it. But it wasn’t, not even close.

Roslin still found the idea that anyone would want to watch her work strange and unnerving. Never mind the fact that for being billed as a reality feed, it was anything but realistic. She would never normally wear make-up, have her hair done, or be wearing an outfit this constricting and uncomfortable on a dig. They had taken something that she had loved to do and instead turned it into some sadistic form of torture.

She drew the trowel across the scarred earth again, more aggressively this time than she had intended. A sharp screech reverberated as the metal from the trowel came in contact with something just below the surface. She instinctively drew her hand back as a rush of adrenaline poured through her.

This was it, this was the moment she lived for. Around her a flutter of activity commenced as cameras zoomed and lighting was adjusted. An eerie silence fell over the site, even the director who hadn’t stopped talking since he arrived was quiet.

“Just dig Roslin,” Martin finally said breaking the silence.

She looked up, her eyes burning, there would be no mistaking how she felt about his suggestion that she just dig.

“We need to photograph the site,” she protested, “record the position so we can reference it later.”

“It’s being recorded, what more do you want?” he said pointing at the cameras.

“It’s not the same,” she protested.

Roslin may be smarter, more experienced, and more knowledgeable than Martin, but he was the boss, and he was used to getting his way. Martin was also several years Roslins’ senior. As a result he frequently reprimanded Roslin, convinced that only he knew best.

Roslin on the other hand regarded him as a pretentious sleaze who was at best lazy and at worst a tyrant. He had the appearance of someone who had once been deeply handsome with dark tan and chiseled features. If the stories were to be believed, with it had come the partying and philandering across town, a different girl every week, sometimes every night.

The years of excess now showed in the perpetually puffy and just slightly droopy look of his face and body. Much to Roslin’s disgust and surprise, the womanizing hadn’t slowed down with his changing physique. If anything it had accelerated in the years that she had known him.

“To follow protocol,” she said evenly refusing to move, “we need to do this right.”

“It’s an order Roslin, not a suggestion.”

“No,” she responded flatly.

“Fine, I’ll do it myself,” he said as he stepped forward.

“What are you doing?” she exclaimed. “You’ll destroy the site.”

She looked around for a sign that anyone was going to do or say something.

“Anyone?” she asked, desperately looking around in vain.

She had known before she had even asked that no one would step in to intervene.

Martin puffed his chest out as he moved in to continue. He had won, and he was going to make sure she knew.

She felt helpless as she watched Martin scrape the trowel aggressively through the layers, pushing the dirt back haphazardly.

As angry as she was, she couldn’t help but to push forward with everyone else, craning to get the best vantage point. She was as excited as anyone else to see what was going to be uncovered. The air hung with a palpable anticipation. Even though they had been digging for weeks, they had discovered absolutely nothing until now. It was the dig of the century. To be given access to the site where the White House had once stood was the kind of thing that made careers.

She gasped as the final layers of dirt were swept aside and an image came into view. Around her echoed the surprise of others

“Is that-”

“It can’t be-”

It was though, she was sure of it. The circular impression, the border of stars, the eagle depicted in the middle clutching arrows and olive branches.

“It’s the presidential seal,” she said definitely.

Not only was it a presidential seal, it was one of the best preserved presidential seals that she had ever seen. Not many had survived.

“What is it on?” a voice asked.

Roslin peered in closer, looking past the image for the first time to the surface below.

“It’s a door,” she said, breathlessly.

“Well then let’s open it,” Martin said as he grasped the handle and pulled.

Editing.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike editing? Yes? No? Well, I’m not sure if I have or haven’t but yeah, editing is not my favorite. In a way I like parts of it. I like that feeling of all of the little pieces coming together. When all of the words feel just right or the plot twist you had planned falls into place perfectly. Thats the good part.

The bad part is when the massive amount of words seems overwhelming. When you change something on page 98 and your 99% sure that because of that you also have to change something on page 35, no wait, maybe it was 42, no, maybe- well you get the idea. It’s tedious, and meticulous and for whatever reason I really struggle with doing it in a purely electronic format. I prefer hardcopy, red ink in the margins editing… which would be fine if it wasn’t slightly less expensive to routinely print out sections of the book for editing. Let’s not even talk about the number of trees that end up being sacrificed for the cause either.

Needless to say I am trying to become a reformed, more environmentally conscious editor. Trying being the operative word there, but hey progress is progress right. Unless you are completely sleep deprived in which case you are probably like me and not making any progress at all.

In other (not editing or writing related news) the instafreebie experiment was a success. Or at least I think it was. 856 samples were downloaded, I ended up with slightly less emails because initially I had made it 100% voluntary. The logic there was that I didn’t want to force anyone to sign up for emails that they weren’t really interested in. My email inbox is seriously out of control so I felt like I would be a hypocrite destroying the inboxes of others. That said, the opt in rate was low. Less than 10% low. I don’t plan on doing newsletters, or any type of regular emails. The only emails I plan on sending is to announce a new release. Personally, I don’t have an issue with people who want to unsubscribe. I’m slightly concerned about having a high unsubscribe rate initially which apparently the mailing list companies frown on (though I for the life of me do not understand why… people unsubscribe… people subscribe…. whatever). In the world of scam/phishing/junk emails… an author newsletter doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But hey whatever. It’s enough to make me considering manually sending out emails. Almost.

Anyways. Back to editing. T-13 days to meeting a deadline.

The blurb.

Hiring out my blurb writing was the best decision I ever made. Or at least one of… Technically decision(s) because I hired two blurb writers, both who had a significant hand in shaping the final product. I would reccomend both of them. Trust me when I say it is far better than anything I came up with…. 🙂


THE WHITE HOUSE FILES

She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.

They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Smithsonian archeologist, Roslin Williams gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to excavate the areas where The White House once stood. When she uncovers an Air Force One plane containing human remains and a mysterious briefcase, she’s determined to dig up any information on the airplane and the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in, to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?


If you are looking for a blurb writer… I used the following:

The Blurb Bitch (ha)

and

S.A. Soule 

And…. if you are interested. The instafreebie link to sample my book is here.

The cover.

Fun fact. As hard as I thought it was to function hungry…. I have found that it is 50 gazillion times harder to function tired. And let me tell you, I am tired. So, to break up my long absences where I dream about writing, and sleep, and writing in my sleep. Here is a picture of the cover. Enjoy 🙂

Aaaaannnndddd…. on the off chance that you are interested in reading a sample, here is the instafreebie link. Full disclosure. I have no idea how instafreebie works, I just signed up. Also, this is the non-professionally edited version (I’m scheduled for editing mid-June). So read at your own risk. The writing is good (I think), I just can’t entirely speak for the spelling, and grammar, and well, you know, the other important stuff. Did I mention that the writing is good? It is.

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KonMari your writing.

I am a huge KonMari fan. Huge. For oh, so many reasons.

Less stuff=less stress. And seriously. I don’t want to spend my entire life working just so I can buy more stuff which then causes me to work more so that I can support said stuff. I get tired just thinking about it. Really, you can apply the KonMari principles to just about any area in your life. Email…. belongings….. people….. 🙂

But we are here to talk about writing. One of the hardest parts about writing (for me) is overthinking. Something I can do in spades. Do you need to know the 99.99999999 billion ways a scenario can go wrong? I’m your person. I can tell you. Are you curious about how many different ways something might go? Even the completely implausible, probably won’t happen but still could scenarios? Still your person. In the world of insurance this is probably an extremely valuable skill. Everywhere else. Not so much.

Particularly in writing. There are hundreds of thousands of choices. Little, tiny decisions that all add up to a story. You can spend forever with the “what ifs”. Or you can try to throw in every single shiny idea that crosses your mind. Or you can describe the entire scene in painstakingly intricate detail. OR….. you could just repeat after me. Less is more. Less is more.

Readers are smart. They will fill in the blanks. Granted there is a line there where you don’t want to give too little information. But they are looking for an experience. They want to use their imaginations and intelligence. They want to reason and think. Give them the freedom to do that….. makes the job of writing easier and the job of reading more enjoyable….

Less is more.