Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What A Start!

After several days of rain, this afternoon turned out to be beautiful. Hopefully it will continue as my writers group's Christmas party is Saturday. People are more likely to show up on pretty days. 

Monday as I drove into work, I noticed a police car had pulled over a driver. The driver hadn't completely pulled off the road. Half the car was blocking the right lane of a four lane highway. After I had passed the cars and was about to top the hill, I saw a man huddled in a light jacket with a knit cap pulled over his ears walking along the road down toward the cars. In one hand was a plastic jug with what looked like gas. Then I realized the officer hadn't pulled the guy over, but the fellow had ran out of gas half way up the hill. The officer was most likely tagging the car to be towed and protecting others from running into it. So that poor fellow had ran out of gas, walked in the rain a 1/2 mile to the gas station and was returning to find his car being ticketed. Geez! I felt so sorry for him. That was one hell of a way to start the week.

Friday, November 25, 2011

And The Beat Goes On!

I've got less than 50 pages to go and I'll be finish with my second book in The Circle series.  As soon as I finish, I'll hand it over to my beta readers. Usually I'll keep it and read outloud before handing to them. But I've been editing along the way - thus one of the reasons why it's taking so long to write - and I'm hoping anything they find wrong has more to do with needing more explanations or clearing up confusing sentences.

While my beta readers are doing their thang, I'll start on book three. I've got several ideas, including the ending.  That's nothing unusual, but I more often than not change the ending by the time I get to that point. Of course, all my books end happily ever after, but the HOW changes.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving or at least a good Thursday. I've been writing as much as possible, but to break up the writing, I've been working on a new website. Yes. The fourth one this year. I didn't like the latest because it became so messy and dark. It was to be simple and became complicated. Bad habit of mine.

Anyway, check it out when you have time and let me know if it is easier to pull up on your computer and easier to read.

www.carlaswafford.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

Here Are My Bookshelves

Avery Flynn had a good idea with her tour of her bookshelves. Being a lover of books, I find others' taste to be interesting. So here's mine. History and romance appear to be my passion. LOL! No surprise there, eh?

Of course, I'm a writer and not a camera-person.  So be careful watching it if you don't like rollercoasters.  If you decide to do this too, let me and Avery know.  We would love to see it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me Shy?

For those who know me, know that I'm not shy. I try not to be loud and obnoxious and hopefully I'm not. But when it comes to talking to strangers, I usually have no problem. For example, today I needed some padded envelopes to mail out more books that commenters had won. So I visited the local Wal-Mart.

I try my best to not go there more than six times a year. Why? Because 1) the store is more often than not crowded, 2) there is so much to choose from, you spend more than you plan, and 3) it takes freaking forever to get out of there.

Well, there I go before the church crowd arrives. The store wasn't crowded. Score one for Carla. Then I go straight to the office supplies and pick up several inexpensive bubble padded envelopes. Score two for Carla. She's going to make it out of the store in record time with only what she needs!

Yeah, right.

Beings a book-aholic, I stopped to see what was on the shelves. Two ladies were talking about what they love to read. Suspense with romance in it. LOL!

Something I do often whenever I'm near books, I point out Deborah Webb's and Paula Graves's books and tell the ladies they both live in Alabama. They're excited. I then tell them of a few more authors (Lynn Raye Harris) who write other genres. Of course, before you know it, I pull out my bookmarks and hand one to each lady. And I also tell them about our luncheon (FREE BOOKS!).

You know, it's fun talking to people who love books, especially romance ones. :-)

Oh, you're wondering, did I score three? Nope. In fact, I was in such a good mood afterwards, I went back through the store and picked up several things "I needed" and finally got out of there two hours later. No. I won't tell you how much I spent, but it was more than I had planned.

Friday, November 18, 2011

HAYWIRE, The Movie

Is it me or is this channeling a little bit of Olivia in Circle of Desire? LOL! If not, it will be a lot like another heroine you will hopefully get to see after Circle of Danger. It's the new movie coming out January 20 in the U.S. Check out all the big names.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Something To Think About

One of the drawbacks (only a few) about being published is that anyone can review your book. A site that's popular with many readers is GoodReads. If I was only a reader, I would love this site. Great suggestions from friends and family and even some strangers. BUT, everyone can also post a review and several booksellers pull the reviews from there. Just as Amazon has everyone and his sister and brother reviewing.  And at both sites you always get one or two people who LOVE giving the lowest rating or say distasteful things about a book. They take such glee in it.  You can tell. Because why would you read another book of an author's if you hated their first one, no less two or three more?

Thankfully no one has been truly ugly about my book but I've seen some harsh language on some of my favorite books from authors like Anne Stuart and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I think both of them are wonderful writers. Sure, I've liked some of their books better than others, but that has more to do with personal taste than with them doing anything wrong.

Anyway, with the industry being small as it is, I won't ever enter into Goodreads a book that is less than five stars. Just doesn't serve any purpose. Others do and truthfully I don't have problem with them having an opinion different than mine, but it's the hateful words that bother me.

I will say I've learned a few things about reviewers. When they're on Goodreads, if they haven't set their profile to private, I'll look at their reading list. I'm amazed when I see they don't really read romantic suspense (maybe have five or six of them listed). So I'm not surprise they give mine a low rating. They don't really read RS.  Or if they have lots of RS and all of them are rated low. HELLO! You obviously need to find another genre to read.  So far, it's helped me get over a couple of low ratings. 

If you're on Goodreads, look around at the overall ratings on your favorite books. It's amazing how low their ratings are. I swear someone loves bringing down those who hit the New York Times best selling lists.

Side note: I wish Goodreads wouldn't let those who have a private profile do reviews and rate books be added into the rating system. Who knows what the person is really up to? I'm cynical enough to believe some people will use it to bring down ratings on books for possibly less than honest reasons.  Just my opinion.

Then on Amazon, if you see someone rate a book low while several others are high, or even the opposite, click on the reviewers' names. Amazon gives you their stats on what they've reviewed. It's amazing how many of the self-published books with five stars will often have people who've only reviewed that book or only that author's books.  How do we say family and friends?  That's a dead giveaway.

That's why I don't ask family and friends to write a review on my books. I do have one friend on Goodreads who did, but she reviews several other authors too. And she meant what she wrote about all of them including mine. And she doesn't say ugly things. I didn't ask her for a written review.

So by checking out that info, that's how I handle THOSE type of reviews.  Breaking it down helps a lot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Green Monsters

A few years ago, the marvelous Lyn Stone spoke at our RWA chapter meeting about becoming published and the unexpected situations that come up. One of those was how some friends react to you becoming published. I was really surprised that she had a friend act ugly about her becoming published as that friend didn’t write and Lyn is such a sweetheart. That is, that’s the way I remember it. I would’ve understood another writer ‘friend’ becoming jealous. It’s hard for us all to hold back that green monster when a writer friend becomes published with their first book or hit the NYT best selling list or quit work to write full time. A true friend will fight back that monster and wish their friend congratulations (and mean it).

Even after listening to her presentation, I was still surprised by a couple of my non-writing friends. Thankfully more than not were happy for me and just as excited as I was by my sale. The catty remarks about me having money and being able to quit work (neither has happened), I fended off with humor and then later with serious information. Then it got to the point anytime I would mention something about my book, they would change the subject. At first, I thought maybe I was talking too much about it and it was boring them. So I only talked about it when someone asked (not the friend but others around them). But that didn’t appear to help and our friendship became more strained each day.

Then I started thinking about it. If they were really my friend, they would ask me questions, especially around the release dates. Well, I decided it’s no big deal. I have several friends who are only readers that enjoy talking about my books and the journey I’m taking. I make a point of asking them questions about their lives, family and books they’re reading to keep the conversation even. Yes, I’ve had other writer friends who dominate conversations about their books and never ask about mine (before I was published in particular). So I know how frustrating that can be too.

There are a few writers I’m acquainted with who avoid talking to me now, but that’s no worry. The Lord has blessed me with lots of caring and loving friends of all types.

One thing I never expected, and should’ve considering past history, was having family members who throw little temper-tantrums because I’m getting so much attention from other family members. Thankfully, being family, I know them well and ignore their little attitudes and plan to continue to enjoy my first two books and hopefully many more afterwards. Just wait until they see how much weight I lost. They will pout or make remarks about me taking so long to lose so little. Can you tell I’ve already had one conversation with a family member? That’s only a sign of a person who’s never been overweight. Besides, it took me 37 years to get as heavy as I was, four months to lose half the weight I need to get rid of is great. The doctor said it should take until next year (July). Check out this link for info on healthy weight loss.

Just thought I would pass on this info for newly published and soon-to-be published authors along with my special friends who congratulate me and ask questions about my books. LOL!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Talented Margie Lawson

I'm over at Margie Lawson's Writing Blog today. She had some interesting things to say about my book.  And we talked about what I learned from her workshop in July.  Come over and comment.  I'll be giving away two books.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Book Signing

November 5, 2011 was my RWA chapter's Romance Readers Luncheon. We have it every year for the last seven years. This year's was the best. First because Lisa Dunick was the chairperson. She has a fantastic mind, very creative. Second because we have an energetic president, Heather Leonard, also with a creative mind. Put those two people together and you have magic.

Then, third, we had the marvelous Victoria Dahl! The woman is kind, generous and so funny.  Fourth, the darling of Southern Magic (my RWA chapter), Jennifer Echols. We all love her so much. If you love YA books, you've got to read hers. They're wonderfully funny and filled with YA smoldering sexuality.

And, fifth and the biggy for me, it was my first book signing!  I had the pleasure of sharing a book signing table with another debut author, Deborah Kaufman. So cool. We had a lot of fun.  If you're wondering, I'm on the left.


At my author table (where we listen to the speakers and ate lunch) I had my four sister-in-laws and my two beautiful daughters along with my buddy, JoAnn.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Come On Over

I'm back at home. Well, I feel like it's home as much as this one is. Come over to the Romance Magicians' blog.  I'm talking about "Walk This Way, Talk This Way."  You guess it. How heroes talk and walk.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday - Next To Last Day For Blog Tour

Today, you can find me at http://blameitonthemuse.com/.  Like I've mentioned before, each blog is a little different so you will learn something new either about me or my book.  So I hope to see you there.

By the way, my editor said there was a glitch and books are available. YAY!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Next - Just Romantic Supense Website

For those who love, love romantic suspense, this is the website for you!  It's got everything you can imagine to do with romantic suspense.  Lots of authors' interviews, news, book excerpts/blurbs, etc. 

This evening through tomorrow, that's where you can find me.  So come over and find out the clues of reading too much romantic suspense and how I found myself writing it.

http://www.justromanticsuspense.com/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yep, Another Blog Tour Continues

First, I want to mention that I'm trying to find out what's going on with the paperback copies of Circle of Desire.  Barnes and Noble is showing "Not Available" and isn't even letting people order them at all now.  Amazon is showing 5-8 weeks for delivery.  Yeah. That's the way to sell books.  Hopefully, I'll have an answer soon. It certainly has placed a damper on the tour this week. ::sigh::

BUT, you can still get the book in e-format.  Even if you don't have an e-reader, you can download it to your phone, iPod, or/and laptop.  That is cheaper.   PLUS, I'm giving away paperback copies at the blogs I'm visiting. I have a box full, so I don't have to wait 5-8 weeks.  :-)

Okay. Now for the Wednesday's blog, go to Avery Flynn's blog (http://averyflynn.com/). She asked me some odd questions.  Kept me on my toes.  LOL!  Let me know what you think.  You can probably tell I've been working in sales for many years. All sales people sound like politicans.  LOL!

November 8, 2011 - Happy Paperback Release Day!

Today is the day for the paperback version of Circle of Desire to be available for purchase. Remember you have to order it on-line at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Books-a-Million. You can still order the e-format at the same places and including at Sony and iBooks (iTunes).

And today, you can find me at Cynthia Eden's blog.  Be sure to come over and comment. I will be giving away a copy of Circle of Desire.   To give you an idea of what I will be talking about, here's the title: Why I Love Alphas, and No! My Heroine Isn’t A B*tch.

LOL!   See you there!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

100 Miles An Hour

Have you ever driven an 100 miles per hour or more?  I have. In fact, the fastest I've ever gone (driving) is 120 miles per hour and maybe even faster as at the time, that was as high as my 1966 Lemans' speedometer would go.  Long story. Just know I was young and dumb.
The car in the picture looks exactly like that car. It was in fact, my first car.  And no, it wasn't new even then.

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is that I'm feeling like that's what speed I'm going and getting very little accomplished. I've decided after next week, I will be avoiding Facebook and Twitter. Though I'll probably blog occasionally, I will be going to no mail on my loops.  So if you want to contact me, you'll need to send me an email directly.  Go to my website to contact me.

Speaking of website, I'm still not happy with mine. If I change it again (most likely), it will be the fourth one this year.  Considering I kept the one I had back in January for nearly five years, that's really something. Plus, I really need to be writing and not designing.  ::Sigh::

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another One Added

On November 7, I will be on Margie Lawson's blog.  Be sure to make plans to see me.  I will be giving away a copy of CIRCLE OF DESIRE!

[updated 11/9/11:  Margie and I had a little mix up.  So I will be there on 11/15/11.]