#Divergent…When Will I Find the Time?

Standard

I like to try and stay on top of book trends. I don’t like being the “last” person to have read a novel or set of novels. I usually dedicate so much time to reading that there is no excuse for me to not have read the “latest” books. Now, that’s a little different because I’m writing full time. 

I have a general rule not to read while I’m writing. It’s an old habit I picked up from a Stephen King interview when I was very young. So, in my past, I was either reading or writing: neither both. 

I realize, today, that has to change. If I’m going to write daily; for the rest of my life, can I really cut reading out of my life? Umm…no! That would be like asking a fish not to swim. Reading is so ingrained within me that I can’t see me moving through the rest of my life not doing it. There are a few books that I’ve been aching to read but haven’t because I’m writing: Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep and The Divergent Series.

Well, today, I’m picking up Divergent and throwing away that old habit but I’m still left with the question; when will I find the time? Right now, I’m maintaining my Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr, Pinterest, WordPress and Blogger Blogs, paganspace.net, goodreads and shelfari for promotion. I’m writing one novel and planning out 5 more. I’m a mother of 4 (three under 4) and a hopelessly busy housewife.

So, I tell myself: “I’m going to read for 30 minutes a day”…”I’m not going to get immersed in the book”…”I’ll put it down and write”…Yeah, we’ll see…I  have a habit of becoming obsessed with really good books and I usually cant stop for long once I get started. So, if I go missing for a few days, you know where I am. I’m curled up on my couch, under a pile of unfolded laundry, ignoring all social media and hiding from my children to read.  

#KDP Select…Is it Worth the Exclusivity?

Standard

Right now, my book is available on Google Play, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Createspace and Lulu. Sales are minimal to none on all channels, except Amazon (they’re not so great there, either). I know my book has been on sale for less than a week but my inner self is kind of freaking out about it. It’s every author’s worst nightmare that nobody will read their work and so I’m trying to figure out a way to make my book more visible and get it into more hands. 

Part of the problem was my  publish date. Although I had set it up as a pre-release and didn’t want it released until the 31st, it went live on Amazon on the 24th of December. I suppose everybody wanted to get in on the holiday buzz and so there were thousands of books published between the 24th and 26th. The result is 400 pages of new releases…my book is buried in there somewhere but it’s obvious that nobody is seeing it. 

One method for uncovering your book is to do a time based promotion. I love this idea. Amazon features these books on a separate page and its a good way to increase traffic and get the book in the hands of readers (thus getting reviews). However, the only way to take part in this promotion is through KDP Select. I don’t know anyone who has experience with this program so I’m leaning on my group of fellow indie writers for advice (once again). 

The rules of the program are this: by enrolling in KDP Select, I get the benefit of time based promotions and am promised (supposedly) better visibility and greater sales, overall. The book also becomes part of the lending library. So, Amazon Prime members can check my book out of the library and read it for free (hopefully leaving reviews). For these transactions, the author is promised some financial kickback (although its not clear how much). Like I said, for me its not really about the money; just knowing that my book is getting read is exciting. 

The last rule of KDP is that it must be Amazon exclusive…that’s the kicker for me. I’m not sure if I want to do that. I mean, I love Amazon but I’m aware that a lot of people read on Nook or IPad and so breaking my ties with Barnes and Noble and GooglePlay would really limit my reader base…Then again, if nobody is reading it anywhere, what good is ANY of this? 

While I set here, writing book #2 and trying not to be so indecisive about things, feel free to comment with any advice on the matter. 😀 

Wisdom, Creativity and Love…a #Druid’s Resolutions…

Standard

So, technically the new year (for me) begins at “summer’s end”. However, I made only 1 resolution at that time: to finish my novel. Now that the calendar year is coming to an end, we as a society look toward the new year in a collective sigh of resolutions. Usually, my resolutions revolve around serving other people…it is my natural tendency to put others before me. This year, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to resolve to be a better “me” in the name of and for the sake of everyone that I love. I’m going to do it in three simple words…well, maybe three simple words, each with its own very wordy descriptions (I am a writer, after all).

As a druid, I strive for three things above all else: wisdom, creativity and love.

Wisdom

Wisdom is an ever present theme in my life. My mind aches for wisdom and I find myself studying anything relevant (and sometimes irrelevant) to my wondering. However, I am coming to realize that knowledge and wisdom are two very different things. So, for the new year, I hope to gain the type of wisdom that cannot be gained from a book. I hope to gain the wisdom of the trees; the wisdom of the wind. It is the wisdom of silence and reflection. I had it at one point in my life but I traded it when my frustrations at the world around me took root in my heart. This year, I will do a better job at centering myself and calming my mind. I will find a place of quiet reflection within myself and allow myself time away from the pursuit of knowledge in exchange for the growth of wisdom.

Creativity

I already have a strong start on this one. With my first  novel published and 5 more in the works, I look forward to this year being my most creative year yet. In years previous, I have allowed the daily routine of life to douse my creativity. I buried it on a shelf beneath an endless list of to-dos and must-haves. I adorned the societal robes of “perfect wife” and “model mother” without abandon and forgot that I was a perfectly creative and talented mind (and humble, too 😉 ). All that’s different now because I have realized that I can’t be everything perfectly. With this realization, I have achieved balance and with balance, I can be both a mother and a author; a lover and a poet.

Love

Love is the easiest of the three. Love is as natural as the spring. I have never had a problem with love…I love all people and all things in this world, equally. I understand the boundaries of love and realize its presence even between two people with opposing views. I love freely. As awesome and great as that is, I can do better. I can not only love others but teach them to love as well. I never realized how difficult it was for some people…to show love…to feel love…even to receive love. So, throughout my wisdom and creativity, I strive to find a way to increase the world in love. To help bring the world back to the natural state from which it was born. Not one of indifference but one of love despite the difference.

I know its a bit early but it was on my mind tonight and so I thought I would set down my resolutions for the year, in the best manner that I know how. I wish all of you the best in the coming year and I would love to hear about your new year’s resolution…or, if you aren’t making any, I would love to hear why not?

Darkness Within—My Debut Novel

Standard

ashleys-bookcover

“Awen Murdock: Travels the realms and hunts shadows. Hears whispers from the divine in the wind. Loves pizza and romance novels…”

Awen Murdock is caught between two worlds. On one hand, she is a normal 17 year old, trying to carve out her own place in a chaotic world. On the other, she is the incarnation of the divine on earth and the savior of the world from darkness.

The first book in the series follows her through the dark half of the year, as she struggles to define herself and come to terms with her own duality. Along the way, she finds out the true dangers of magick and discovers that things are not always what they seem.

This is AC Willlis’ Debut Novel. It is based on a short story which was entered into, and won, award at the Muskogee Public Library short story contest in 2013. The entire novel was penned throughout the month of November for Nanowrimo. It is now available on ebook for 3.99, paperback for 15.33 and hardback for 17.00. You can pick up your copy at the following links:

Amazon—Ebook and Paperback—Kindle Edition

CreateSpace—Paperback only—

Lulu–Hardback only—

 

Self-Publishing options—Darkness Within

Standard

I’m about to begin KDP Select so the book is only available on the following websites, now:

  • Amazon
  • Ebook: 3.99
  • Paperback: 15.33
  • Lulu
  • Hardcover: 17.99

How many projects do you work on at a time?

Standard

With Darkness Within released, I move forward to the next book in the series, Light Without. However, I feel like I have opened some sort of creative floodgate and ideas for new projects just keep flooding out of my brain. I have at least 5 books in my immediate thoughts and when I set down to write Light Without, these other projects jump in my face for attention.

So, I was wondering how many projects I should work on at a time. I know I can write one book while outlining another but could I write 2 books while outlining 3 more? I’m sure this is a personal preference but I thought it would be a good idea to get an idea from other indie authors on the matter. How many projects do you work on at a time?

#MerryChristmas…Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards ALL men!

Standard

Not much to say tonight, except Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time with your family and if you get time, check out my new book on Amazon. I will leave you with this because it is what is weighing on my mind: “Life is like a good book. We read into it what we want to and we all read the same words differently.” 

With Love, Always,

AC Willis

Darkness Within—My Debut Novel

Link

Darkness Within—My Debut Novel

Merry Christmas to me—and to you! My debut novel was made available on Amazon today! You can buy it in either ebook or print version…It will be coming soon to Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay and Kobo, as well.

Turtles in Time and Personality Profiles…#TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles

Standard

Playing Turtles In Time with my 4-year-old son floods my brain with memories of my childhood. We had the game on the Super Nintendo, then and every time the game started, we would exclaim “Big Apple, 3AM”. Now, when I hear the intro, my mind conjures the smell of pizza and I am taken back to that time in my life.

Mine and my brothers room was filled with turtles. We had the bed sheets and pillowcases, curtains and a thousand turtle toys. We also had a turtle table. If you’re a child of the 80’s, perhaps you did too. It was just a little plastic kids table but the chairs were different colors (one for each turtle) and each place at the table had a sticker, denoting which turtle it was for.

Coincidentally, there were 4 of us. My older brother, my older sister ,my cousin who was 4 months younger than me and myself. I’m sure if the scenario took place in today’s times, we would all agree amicably as to who would sit where. In the 80’s, however, children were allowed to be selfish and stubborn (to each other, at least).

My mom would have no part in “settling” the argument for us. Her only warning was that if we didn’t figure it out and set down, we were “going to be sorry”. None of us wanted to contend with my mother and so we settled it the only way that a group of 80’s kids obsessed with Ninja Turtles armed with ancient weapons knew how: survival of the fittest.

Allow me to interject here by saying that the coveted spot at the table was Raphael’s chair. I’m not sure how this came about but he was all our favorites. That spot usually went to my older brother because he was the biggest (and meanest of us all). Unless, of course, he had leveraged his power earlier in the day; selling the promise of Raphael’s seat for something he wanted like choice of game or by making one of us do something that was reckless.

The next most coveted spot at the table was Michelangelo. That spot usually went to my cousin because he was my brother’s right hand man but a lot of times, it was won by my sister. Looking back, I have to give it to her. She was a lot better than I at breaking the triad between my brother and male cousin. Perhaps it was because she embraced her femininity and I didn’t. I think that the guys resented the fact that I was just as tough and daring as they were.

At any rate, I was small for my age and the “runt of the litter” if you will. This meant that I always got stuck with the seat (and turtle) that nobody else wanted: Donatello. Nobody wanted to be the pacifistic intellectual turtle because he wasn’t “cool” enough.

It’s funny how things click into place in one’s mind after they are grown and gain the privilege of hindsight. When we were kids, we chose a turtle based on who was the toughest and had the coolest weapon. Now when I look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles, my mind quickly does a personality profile of each turtle.

Raphael: The toughest of the turtles, he’s hot-headed and ill-tempered. He builds walls around himself and carries the sai. This is the perfect weapon for him because they’re sharp and pointed like his temper as well as a great defensive weapon. This was, in fact, the perfect turtle for my older brother.

Michelangelo: He’s the clown of the group and is great at lightening any heavy situation with his humor. His weapon is the nunchaku because it suits his showmanship. In short, he’s a ham, a free spirit and a party animal. This was apparently my cousin, even then. Now that we are older, it’s obvious that this is the perfect turtle for his party hard personality.

Leonardo: The “big brother” of the group. He’s the leader but most notably the “nurturer” of the group. The one thing about Leonardo’s personality that I love the most is his ability to put the entire group’s needs over his own. Perhaps this honor is why he was bestowed the most prestigious weapon of all: the katana. My sister and I had a rough time getting along once we got older but now we are both moms and I can look back and clearly see that she was the Leonardo of the group. She was constantly settling squabbles between the boys and cooling them off. She would be the first to compromise what she wanted to do for somebody else and she gave, freely, the feminine quality of nurturing (something that took me a long time to figure out).

That brings us to the turtle that nobody wanted to be. The Turtle that I always “got stuck” with: nerdy, passive Donatello.

Donatello would rather engage in intellectual warfare than do physical battle. Even his weapon, the bo staff, is the least lethal of all the turtle’s weapons. He’s usually found behind the “tech desk” or researching to try and find a less physical way to solve the conflict at hand. I actually don’t see Donatello as a pacifist at all. I understand, now, that he had a real need to solve problems. Intellectually speaking, it’s a lot more boring to just plow through enemies than it is to actually find a way around them. You can ask anybody who has ever RPGed with me, I am definitely a Donatello personality. Now that I’m an adult, I’m proud to embrace this and realize that I was never really “stuck” with Donatello’s seat but I was exactly where I belonged.

I’m amazed at how accurately these alignments and personalities have served each one of us, individually. My brother is a true warrior. He’s given most of his adult life to doing combat in the United States Army. He is opinionated, hot-headed and LOVES to argue.

My cousin is a widower and single dad who always seems to have a smile on his face, despite the things he has gone through in his adult life. He’s a true Cajun who lives up to the unofficial Louisiana state motto: “Laissez les bons temps rouler” (Let the good times roll) and still lights the room with his jokes and laughter.

My sister is among the best wives and mothers that I know. Her nurturing ability, while it makes her sensitive, makes her one of the most caring people in the world. She knows how to compromise and she knows how to take care of the people she loves.

I, on the other hand, am an indie writer with a tendency toward verbal debate, rather than physical conflict. I like to solve problems and probably give advice too often. My prize feature is my intellect and I am continually searching for ways to expand my horizons. I always know where I stand on an issue and I never back down from an intellectual debate. Maybe I’m a nerd…maybe I’m a pacifist…but I’m smart and capable. I’m okay with that.

Which turtle personality are you?