Monday, September 30, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT!


I have an announcement.... :D

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to self-publish my novel, Cutlass. I am ecstatic. I have been planning the stages of my impending book release and with each new idea, I become even more motivated. I absolutely cannot wait until my book is available to everyone.

I would like to say that my decision to self-publish rests on the fact that, first, I really do enjoy getting to have a say in EVERYTHING that goes into my book, and second, I am a little...impatient. I feel as though I have been very idle in my attempts to have my work seen. This decision puts and end to that. My query stats weren't actually that bad. I queried 20 agents had had 2 partial requests and 2 full requests. In the end, I've decided that I will move forward with my publishing date and whatever happens, happens.

I have so many of you awesome bloggers to thank for ALL my resources. You have no idea how all of YOUR insight and resources directed me into feeling so absolutely comfortable with this decision.

Here are some people I would just like to thank real fast:

Mina Lobo - Thank you for editor suggestion on your blog, Jena! She had my book back to me in THREE days with AMAZING feedback!
Micalea Smeltzer - Thank you for the wonderful cover artist!

Regina - Thanks for BEING an amazing cover artist!
Sam - Thank you for you amazing video skills! I know the book trailer you put together is going to be amazing and unique.
Barbara Kloss - Thank you for your excellent encouragement and help with all my self-pubbing questions. Also, thank you for your suggestions on editors and future formatting help!


I have a list of things I have to do which include: 

  • Finishing up edits and sending to betas 
  • Another proofread from the editor 
  • Revealing my cover
  • Revealing my book trailer
  • Deciding who to query for reviews before and after my book release
  • Deciding who to query for a blog tour
  • Buy my own ISBNs (I want to, essentially, create my own publishing company)
  • Figuring out formatting for createspace
  • After I figure out formatting and see the proof, attempt to create ARCs
  • Making shirts and other SWAG
  • Planning my release party!

I have had so much fun creating my marketing plan (luckily, I have a marketing class that's been super helpful!), and researching all of this info about publishing. I really want my book to be high-quality and look and read much like a traditionally published book. 

So, without and further rambling, I give you some very important dates:

December 18, 2013 - cover reveal
January 15, 2014 - book trailer reveal
April 23, 2014 - release day!!


Yes, April 23rd is my birthday! Lol. I figured why not give myself the greatest thing I have wanted for 10 years, which is sharing my characters and worlds with readers?

For my cover reveal I will post a linky list for anyone interested in helping me reveal my cover to the world! That will come around November. Then, in December, I will post another linky list for those of you interested in revealing the book trailer. For the actual release day, I will begin a blog tour from April 23-May 5. I will probably give away books, swag and whatever else I can come up with to thrust into your hands. I am so very excited about this, and I hope you guys are, too! If you wanna know more about my book, you can read the "CUTLASS" tab at the top of my page, or go to my website: HERE.

So, who's self-published and who's not? What are some of your favorite self-published books? Do you run away from a book when you hear the word self-published?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Fest! :)





Melissa MayGrove is hosting a follow fest and I was lucky enough to find it on Elise Fallson's blog yesterday so I could jump in and meet some cool people!  

Name: 
-Ashley Nixon 

Fiction or nonfiction? 
-Fiction

What genres do you write? 
- Right now I write YA Fantasy, but I have an idea for a literary novel, too!

Are you published? 
- Not yet! :) 

Do you do anything in addition to writing?
-I read...and I'm in Grad School. I'm also a critique partner/beta reader for some peeps!

Where can people connect with you?
-Lotsa places! 


-@Ashleymnixon 







YouTube (starting soon! :D)


Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
-If you come back on Monday, September 30th, I'll have a big announcement! :) 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On Starting a New Book...



Does anyone else have trouble STARTING a book?

I sure do.

I mean, I usually know what happens in the middle and the end before I know how the book starts. Problem is, I can't start writing unless I know the beginning. I mean, sure, I'll write those middle scenes, and that ending scene (I've done that, though chances are, they'll change a bit when I get to them from the beginning of the book), but I cannot actually thread together my story with the beginning.

The beginning of a book is so important! It's where we plant clues as authors as to the direction of our book. It's where we get to know our characters, and how they'll react in situations, their strengths and weaknesses.

Only recently have I found the actual beginning to my new book, Nacoma Knight. It's taken me SEVERAL versions, but I really like what I have. Sure, it's going to need tweaking...it also may still change...but the feel is perfect.

Now if I could write more than 500 words before stopping and wondering where in the heck I'm going with it!

What about you all? What's the easier part of your book to write? Are you a beginning, middle, or end person? Where do you start? 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On the Road to Non-Dairy Products

Hello everyone!

From http://www.treehugger.com; Kabsik Park, CC.


I haven't been able to update you on my health adventure in a while. Aside from training to run a 5K (I have a blog post alllllll about that! ha!), I have recently had to stop eating dairy.

I know. I was sad at first. I mean. I REALLY LOVE CHEESE.

Then, I started reading articles about how humans aren't even supposed to drink milk! Our bodies aren't designed to drink cow's milk, only human milk. So that means everything that's made with cow's milk isn't supposed to be in our system, either! (http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/dairy-industry.aspx, http://www.notmilk.com/kradjian.html, http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/environmental-health-reasons-dairy.htm).

Now, what began this realization that I couldn't have dairy anymore? Well, it started after I finished a perfectly nice glass of MILK. My tummy hurt so bad. :( I just sort of felt drained and sick after. I thought that it was just me and not the milk, so I tried it again the next night. Nope. Tummy hurt again. I started to think I might not need to drink milk anymore. What about other dairy products, then? Well, after these tummy aches began after drinking milk, I started to pay attention to what my body would do after I ate dairy. I noticed my tummy hurt after I ate ice cream, and if I ate a cheesy dish. I used to become confused when I would feel so awful after eating just a small bit of my dinner, but suddenly everything made sense!

Now, has it been hard to cut dairy out of my health equation? Yes.
Cheese was actually the easiest thing. Ice cream not so much. The funny part was, I didn't really crave ice cream until AFTER I couldn't have it anymore. Go figure.

The thing is, it's easier to cut this stuff out of my diet than to feel the way it makes me feel. I really don't like feeling sick and sluggish. Those two thing affect how I write. If I'm not feeling my best, I cannot write my best.

So, anyone else had to cut something out of their diet in order to make themselves feel better? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: Sacrifice Her!

The day has finally come. Time to reveal the cover of Sacrifice HER. Be amazed.


Title: Sacrifice HER by Sheena-kay
Graham Goodreads: Sacrifice HER
 Release Date: December 2013

 Summary: When a city is at stake is the life of one sixteen-year old girl worth risking thousands? Deidra Moore goes on the run after escaping from a group of human sacrifices for Bane: God of War. She doesn't believe he exists and sees uncertainty in the scorching desert as a better alternative. But Faux City isn't finished with her and their leader Lord Brinn is ordered by Bane - through one of his maiden worshipers- to bring her back or face dire consequences. In the desert Deidra meets a wanderer named Kane and as feelings spark can they find a safe place to lead a new life before Lord Brinn and his soldiers catch up with them? Yet the question remains. Does Bane really exist and if he does what will happen if either side succeeds or fails? Told in alternating perspectives of both the runaway servant girl and the blonde strong willed leader. Author Bio: Sheena-kay Graham was never meant for a traditional job behind a desk. Her childhood career plans included becoming a ballerina, actress or someone who helped people. So naturally she decided to be a writer who writes from her bed. Yes, no desk for this Jamaican book lover. No matter if it’s reading, writing or using the computer....you get the gist. The love of the written word has always been with her leading to stories, novels, poetry and way too much fan fiction. This Christian woman can be found trolling Amazon online, in local book bookstores, watching movies on the big screen, or in her bed, or reading/writing/on the laptop...again in her bed. Mainly writes YA fiction and is ready to unleash her creativity to wow the masses.

Links

Cover Design: 
Image of woman with flowing hair (purchased): © Transfuchsian | Dreamstime.com
Cover Designer:  Langao @ http://fiverr.com/langao

And for a final bit of wow factor. Look at what I got for free without asking.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Barbara Kloss's Third Book: Breath of Dragons Cover Reveal!

YES! It's here and I am SO excited! Yesterday, Barbara Kloss released the cover for her third book, Breath of Dragons. It is awesome! I cannot wait for the book (which I am honored to be a Beta Reader for!). It will be released to the public November 2013! Take a look:


If you haven't already, you should read the first two books! They are awesome. You can check out information about them:

Here: Gaia's Secret
Here: The Keeper's Flame

Barbara's Blog: http://scribblesnjots.blogspot.com
Barbara's Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbarakloss

Follow her! Not only is she an amazing writer, she's sweet and beautiful.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Struggle

Can I just say that I struggle with what I want to say as a writer?
There. I said it.
I do.
I didn't realize this until I started watching some of J.K. Rowling's videos on writing. The videos on "The Women of Harry Potter" are so wonderful. It made me realize that TOO MANY times I go into writing something wondering what others will think about it. I thought I had fallen out of this deadly trap! But I haven't.



Even watching the wonderful videos about the "Women of Harry Potter" made me wonder how others would view my female characters. Would they hate them for certain reasons, love them for others?

WHY DID I CARE?!

If something I place in my book DOES something for the book I NEED, why do I care what others thing about it?

One. Fundamental. Reason.

I'm human.

I start thinking about how children, middle graders, and young adults look up to characters they read about, relate to characters they read about, and I start hoping I've got characters in my head who are worthy of being looked up to. I start hoping that my females are good role models. I start hoping that my readers learn lessons from my characters--not only personal moral choices, but life lessons. I start wondering if my readers can think critically about what I have presented to them, even if it's in the form of fantasy.

Then, after I've wondered all that, I wonder if I succeeded in doing those things as a WRITER. Because if I failed, it doesn't matter what I hope I've done with my writing, if I have not executed things very well, I cannot expect my readers to understand their lessons.

I feel I should be conscious of are my readers.

Not everyone will read my books and get what I hope they want out of them. Lessons can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be lessons about morals, self-love and confidence. They can be lessons about standing up for yourself, or standing up for others. They can be darker lessons--like revenge really isn't that sweet.

Whatever the lesson, I know I must be conscious of how I present it...of, really, how I teach it. I cannot be afraid to address things I want to address.

Because in the end, it isn't about writing so that people love your books. It's DEFINITELY not about censoring yourself.  It's about writing what YOU feel you want to communicate, and as a result of that, people will love your books.


So, what do you want say as a writer?

Much love,

Ashley