#Pets Authors Panel: We Did It, So Can You!

Did you miss the Google Hangout? Wanna learn about WRITING LIKE CATS AND DOGS? Here’s Yvonne DiVita, Doc Halligan, Lisa Erspamer and myself talking about publishing, how we wrote our books, and other writer-icity experiences! Enjoy!

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

You Wrote WHAT? Why I Write What I Write

Magic-Seren-BooksSome of y’all know that my *virtual HIDE AND SEEK book tour* ran during June and July, and I had a wonderful time visiting various blogs and sharing about my writer-ly journey. All the links to various blogs can be found on my website here.Fire

But now I’ve been tagged for another virtual tour, a way for my Sweet Peeps to find out about other paw-some writers and their work. My author-friend, Angie Baily, invited me to join The Writing Process Blog Tour. Be sure to check out Angie’s blog and find out all about her works-in-progress. If you love quirky humor and love cats, you’ll find a treasure there!

The Writing Process Blog Tour is a way for bloggers to share their own writing process and current projects with readers, as well as introduce them to a couple of fabulous authors they might not be reading … which they should. I’m supposed to answer these four questions–so hang on tight, and I’ll try to be concise.

*snicker* Yeah, THAT’s gonna happen!

What am I working on?

Wow, probably too many projects to list. Here’s the short list at the top of my to-do’s:

  1. I’m awaiting the return of final edits on my next nonfiction book COMPLETE PUPPY CARPuppyCareCoverE, due to release later this month. This book will be the companion title to mirror my best selling COMPLETE KITTEN CARE book. Hey, I have to give equal time to the fur-kids!
  2. Writing the next book in my suspense/thriller series, titled SHOW AND TELL. The books feature an animal behaviorist, September Day. She lives with a trained Maine Coon cat and suffers from PTSD which is helped by her German Shepherd service dog named Shadow. Shadow is a favorite character because he has his own viewpoint chapters, character arc and storyline (but no, he DOESN’T talk).
  3. Strays Logo2-LoRezPreparing for the debut of STRAYS, THE MUSICAL, a full-length play co-written with Frank Steele. We’ve got a workshop scheduled to teach folks some of the music and introduce to the script, auditions scheduled, and performance taking place November 6-7-8, 2014. This show is very close to my heart, as it incorporates my love of cats and dogs with music and theater (all characters are cats or dogs). You can expect some blog posts in the future detailing this STRAYS journey!
  4. In the planning stages for a writers’ guide “how-I-did-it” short book, hopefully this fall, to provide a one stop place to answer many of the writing and publishing questions I receive. It will be based on the several conference talks and webinars I offer.
  5. SUPER-SECRET-SOON-TO-BE-REVEALED PROJECTS that I can’t yet announce, but will be PAW-some for cats, dogs and pet parents. Yes, it has to do with great health and behavior information, and some opportunities for bloggers to get involved, too. Stay tuned!

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Some of my work is very similar to my colleague’s, in that I strive to provide great actionable information that helps pet parents and the cats and dogs they love. It differs in that many of the venues or platforms are outside the box, and that I try not to limit myself to one avenue to reach my audience.

For years I wrote very prescriptive nonfiction books and articles–and I still love sharing that information. But now I work to “edu-tain” readers who perhaps aren’t specifically looking for pet care advice or information. Reading a book told through “dog voice” opens a window into how and why dogs behave certain ways. Watching a play in which cats and dogs offer insight into their world and it’s all from their purr-spective may offer some ah-ha moments for pet parents. Using a variety of publishing platforms, from the Internet and blogs to Ebooks, traditional print and even audio books or songs, increases the chance more folks will benefit from the work.

Why do you write what you do?

I was put on this earth to be a voice for the voiceless–I truly believe that. Writing about cats and dogs gives me great pleasure, and it’s fun! How neat to wake up every morning excited to go to work and–basically–play with cats and dogs for a living. I am truly blessed!

How does your writing process work?

Hmnn. Often, I get ideas from readers asking questions, or from news stories that make me go “wow…what if?” Typically I work 6-7 days a week, although I try to take at least half a day off on Sunday. My world would go off the tracks without to-do lists. I love putting together lists, and crossing off each item once completed! My calendars (several, both paper and online) are highlighted and color coded to keep track of various projects, and often look like a peacock exploded.

For book-length projects, I do my best to meet a daily word count, and calendar progress toward the deadline. Otherwise, with so many things to juggle, something’s liable to go SPLAT when it’s dropped. Once a book-length draft is finished, I work on a different project for a time and come back to edits with fresh eyes. Books generally go through several rewrites and drafts before going to beta readers and later to my editor, so it’s an involved process. Shorter work like articles can be turned around much more quickly. Blogs (like this one) often are written in one sitting.

Now it’s time to tag two more wonderful writer friends. Please head on over to their blogs/websites and check out their work. I promise, you’ll be glad you did!

JaneA Kelly is a contributing author to Caster.com and is the webmaster and chief cat slave for Paws and Effect, an award-winning cat advice blog written by her cats, for cats and their people. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association, and has been a speaker at the BlogPaws and Cat Writers’ Association conferences. In addition to blogging about cats, JaneA writes contemporary urban fantasy, and whatever else strikes her fancy.

Carol Shenold has been a nurse for forty years, and a writer/artist almost as long. She writes the Tali Cates mysteries, as well as urban fantasies with weirdly wonderful characters (“The Monster under the bed…is real!”), and nursing textbooks. She also writes nonfiction in general interest, technical magazines, newspaper columns and more. You can find Carol at her website and her blog–when she’s not busy painting pictures of her cat or dogs or grandkids.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

 

Monday Mentions: Thrillerfest & Bunny Slippers with Teeth

Tfest 054I’m just home from Thrillerfest. What an amazing experience! This wasn’t my first attendance but was special and a stand-out in so many ways. That’s me at the Debut Author table on Saturday morning with 26 others in our class who were able to attend the July 13 breakfast. There were 60 in the whole class this year–wow! Here’s a Library Journal article.

Each of us had 60-seconds to say anything we wanted. Many talked briefly about themselves, their book, and their journey to reach that wonderful goal, and I was so honored to be among these talented writers, and inspired by their dedication and effort. And yes, a little teary that I’d managed to climb that thrilling mountain, too. Six years ago, I sat in the audience and felt lost…and truly didn’t believe I’d ever have that opportunity. But I went home, put on my bunny slippers and wrote the thriller I’d always wanted to read. LOST AND FOUND was born at Thrillerfest and because of ITW, today my bunny slippers have TEETH and I write Thrillers With Bite!

Tfest 056And yes, I wore my bunny slippers with pointy teeth to the breakfast–you’ll notice the ears also have bling. Enjoy a few of the pictures from the weekend (below) and then you can click on the Thrillerfest 2013 Set for more pictures. Be sure to scroll down to catch the short video from the banquet–I will have some more fun video from the weekend soon, too!

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My roomies–Carol Shenold and Paula Lanier. Thursday evening dinner outside at a terrific restaurant owned by Paula’s friend David.

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The always classy Steve Berry graciously allows a photo op.

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Lee Child at the Friday evening “Fan Fest” (one of my many fan-girl moments!)

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Again at the FanFest event, that’s me with the gorgeous thriller gals–August McLaughlin, Carol Shenold, Paula Lanier

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More famous authors! August, Doug Lyle, Carol, moi and the gorgeous Twist Phelan. (Can you tell Doug is in heaven?)

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We were guests at FanFest courtesy of the WONDERFUL Diane Capri (far right). We even color coordinated…great minds. *s*

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Me with the WANA-Mama Kristen Lamb!

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Paula, John Land and me…our “annual photo shoot.”

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the Simon’s Cats pet-astic videos at the bottom, too. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.

 WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

 Russian Ebook Market Growing

B&N CEO Resigns

Ways to Boost Books After Awards Wins

Reading/Writing Boosts Cognition well…duh!

5 Book Marketing MYTHS

Marketing Maze–A Guide Through the Jungle?

 Kristin Nador’s Blog with some important videos for keeping your writing hands healthy

outsmarting catsPET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

Outsmarting Cats by my colleague and terrific writer/artist Wendy Christensen, is an update of her 2004 terrific Outwitting Cats. You won’t want to miss her terrific illustrations (and great info!).

Doggy Anxiety Tips

Iran Bans Dogs in Public Places

Planet Dog Foundation Gives $1 Million! I love this company, they donate a portion of every sale to service dog organizations…and they make GREAT products! (Magical-Dawg luvs their schtuff)

Dr. Sophia Yin’s Guide to Low-Stress Handling hey y’all, it’s FREE for a limited time!

TV Channel for Dogs

 

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

LOST AND FOUND–IS BANNED?!

No, the book isn’t banned. I’m being facetious. But you just can’t get the book at local stores. Maybe I need to take Magical-Dawg around to woof at them!

I’m having a wonderful time discussing LOST AND FOUND on the DogRead list, and being interviewed for online events. Locally I’ve planned a “Book Launch” party at Grayson College on October 26, and have schedule another book discussion group locally at Trinity Lutheran Church at 6 pm on Saturday, December 8.

NOBODY LOCALLY WILL CARRY THE BOOKS, even though it’s in their systems!

Although the book IS available in print, and IS available for online order, it IS NOT being carried on the shelves of local stores. Now, I can understand that shelf space is at a premium and they couldn’t afford to offer a venue for all million of the “books a million” they claim. But you’d think there would be a mechanism or exception in place for LOCAL authors with guaranteed events and sales.

We have only one brick-and-mortar store locally. I also asked at the local independent bookstore because I want to support indies–but they’ll only do consignment since they’re a used book store, which means the author buys the books, they shelve the books, and sell them for a percentage. I’m sorry but I’m not a book store, either.

The Sherman Texas “Books A Million” refuses to bring LOST AND FOUND into the store. It’s Corporate policy, not them. The powers-that-be won’t stock them in the store because they must FIRST be reviewed in order to be shelved. It’s apparently okay to list them on the website, but not physically in the store. If you’re an author and wanting your book on the Books A Million shelves, the number to call for info is 205-942-3737.

Wrap your head around that one!

Even if I could get the book into the review system, it’s doubtful that they’d be available locally in time for my local events. The automated recording says processing time is 4 weeks from date of submission.

So I’d urge you to order the LOST AND FOUND books (and any other author books) wherever it’s easiest for you to do so. And since you have to order the books anyway, look for the least expensive place because the books are the same no matter where you order them from. Right now, the amazon.com site has the best price for LOST AND FOUND. 🙂

And Magical-Dawg didn’t even have to woof at them.

Monday Mentions: Birdy Dancing, Co Dreaming & PUB DATE!

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Maurice, the dragon wordsmith of all things writerly.

All this inspiration worked. My thriller LOST AND FOUND was conceived, plotted and finished during previous trips and I just found out the pub date:

September 20, 2012!

I will let you know just as soon as pre-orders are available. It will be published in print and all Ebook formats, woot! I just got my copy edits back in time to input the results of the “name” contest–will it feature your cat or dog favorite name? You’ll want to check out the voting for NAME THAT DOG and NAME THAT CAT polls. So far the dog names Dakota and Bruno are nearly neck-and-neck, while cat names Macy and Karma are top contenders. Votes close July 31.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Some of this “schtuff” can be hard to categorize and may fit more than one topic so I urge you to at least scan them all.

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

Social Media Vs Big-A$$ Book Reviews which sells more books?

Bloomsbury Ebook Sales Up 70%

James Scott Bell Writer Workshop in Nashville Aug 11-12

Top 10 Brain Myths fun stuff!

Facebook “Page” vs “Profile” some good info and tips

Ebooks Now Dominate Fiction Sales

Penguin Buys Author Solutions   will they continue the program or kill the competition? Hmnnn.

Job Opening: Senior Editor Petside.com

Discoverability & Marketing Conference

CRITTER SCHTUFF

Cat Is The Mayor

Behavior Express Tour “Keep LOVE Alive” coming to city near you? Solving pet behavior problems, expert help.

Hero Dog Awards Announced! wow, what amazing canines

Feline Husbandry the book by Neils Pedersen now available in PDF (free!)

The Ecology of Disease scary and true! Bats to pigs to people? Oh my…

White Nose Syndrome in Bats

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Don’t forget to vote for your NAME THAT DOG/CAT character choice in the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!