Wanted: Crystal Ball

Being an indie author is pretty darn cool most days. But then there are those days where you question everything. And by everything, I mean E-V-E-R-Y thing. Apparently I’m having one of those days today and I can’t help but think that life would be so much easier with a crystal ball. Heck, I’d take a Magic 8 ball at this point, but only if it’s the really girly pink one.

When I have to make tough decisions, there’s always that whisper of self-doubt saying what if? And as much as I’d like to squash it, I’m only human. I worry, and obsess and probably drive my husband bat-shizz crazy throughout the decision-making process. Then I make the decision and worry some more. It’s just what I do.

I had to act on a really tough decision today, one I’ve been obsessing (yes, obsessing) over for months to give up something I love. (How’s that for vague?)  It was hard. Really. Hard. Hell, I’m still sweating it now. But I have to believe it’s for the best in the long run. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be no matter how bad you want them and tough choices have to be made. It’s a fact of life– indie or otherwise.

My only comfort? I’ve got a great support network to see me through! And that is what being indie is all about. So, now it’s vacation time for me and when I return, I’m fully committed to a renewed focus on my family and my writing.

Aloha!

 

Impatience Is a Virtue Too

Snapple Real Fact #926: George Washington was the only unanimously elected President.
(I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty sure I could accomplish this amazing feat too. If only I had the time.)
Okay, so back to patience, or my lack thereof. All my life I’ve been told that patience is a virtue, to be more patient, that good things come to those who wait, blah, blah, blah. Yep. That’s right. It went in one ear and out the other. I meant to listen (I really did!), but it didn’t seem like particularly good advice at the time. Still doesn’t.
I’m more of a ‘take the bull by the horns’ kind of girl. If you want something, go get it. Make it happen. NOW. Because really, what’s the point of waiting? Sometimes you’ve just got to step up and take the initiative.
Take Sean Combs (a.k.a. P. Diddy) for example. (Yes. I realize there are numerous examples of self-starters throughout history who’ve had an amazing impact on our lives and the world at large, but I’m going to cave to the MTV generation for a moment. Not because I’m especially enamored with P. Diddy, but because he makes a great point. Stick with me for a minute.) Maybe you didn’t know this, but Combs is credited with dragging himself out of the Harlem projects with hard work, perseverance, and what my dad calls intestinal fortitude (yes, I mean guts).
When asked about his success, Combs said:

“I’ve never been surprised about what happened to me. I’ve put in hard work to get to this point. It’s like when you become a lawyer – if you’re bustin’ your ass, you’re not surprised when you get your degree. I came in to win, you know. This is why I stay up late while other people are sleeping; this is why I don’t go out to the Hamptons.”

I’m not going to be the next princess of hip hop (ask anyone who’s had the misfortune of hearing me sing), but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a published author. I know what you’re thinking. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. And what happens if I can’t find an agent who believes in my work as much as I do. Will I give up? Will I query myself into a coma? Will I just keep waiting for something to happen?
Unlikely. As I said, I prefer action. Swift and efficient. I may be new to publishing, but I’m not new to hard work, brand management, or marketing.  I’ve got a whole arsenal of tools and talented folks in my back pocket, not to mention a plan. As I sit here today I am fortunate to have a very creative graphic designer working on cover art for my book and a well-trained and experienced editor reviewing my manuscript. Why? Because I haven’t ruled out self-publishing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not done querying (I didn’t get where I am today without a reasonable amount of patience!). I would L-O-V-E being traditionally published. Not only would my words be available for millions of readers to enjoy, it would free up my time to do what I love most: write. Instead of being a jack of all trades, I would have a team of professionals to ease the burden. But I’m also a realist; a realist who is determined to make my dream a reality.

J.J. Bonds

Review: Hollowland

Snapple Real Fact #760: Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
(And you thought you couldn’t get a good night’s sleep!)
Well, it seems we all survived the apocalypse and the only zombies that showed up at my house were in Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland, which by the way was an excellent read. I don’t usually do the reviewing thing, but I figured what the heck.  I’m expanding my reading horizons, so I might as well expand my blogging repertoire as well.
The DL on Hollowand:
Hollowland is the first book in The Hollows series by Amanda Hocking. For those of you not familiar with Hocking, she’s an indie author who recently reached millionaire status by self-publishing and selling her books on sites like Amazon (where I consequently picked up my copy for $0.99).
Description:

“This is the way the world ends – not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

Review:
A pleasant surprise! What worked for me? The kickass heroine (I love women who can take care of themselves!) , just the right amount of levity to counterbalance the parade of deadly zombies, and the touching relationships that emerged among the central characters. As Remy and her ragtag band of followers made their way across the country, it was difficult not to get sucked in. After all, who could resist a zombie eating lion name Ripley?
Hocking did a nice job developing most of the characters and it didn’t take them long to find their way into my heart. Yes, it’s an unlikely tale of a zombies, but the characters were real and it was easy to identify with their problems, some of which were every day (read: boys!) and some of which were more, well, apocalyptic. I laughed and I cried which is more than I can say for a lot of books.
All in all, a good read. However, I do wish this book had been more thoroughly edited. I realize this was published before Hocking reached her current status and long before her book deal with St. Martin’s (Oh, did I forget to mention that selling a half million e-books will get you signed?), but good editing is something I feel passionately about.
With better editing, I’d have paid more than a dollar for this one. I couldn’t put it down and I look forward to seeing the next book in the series. Yeah, there were some flaws, but Hocking’s a young writer and I’ve followed enough NYT best-selling authors to know that with time (and practice) will come a more polished product. What can I say? I’m a sucker for underdogs. Recommended for zombie lovers and romantics everywhere!
J.J. Bonds