A Bungled Branding

I’m trying to step up my author game. I have so many exciting projects in the works! I have two books coming out in the next year, and I have an amazing agent who has even more projects from me on his desk.

I love writing. I’ve even gotten to the point where I like editing. The thing I’m not great at is marketing.

I just want to write. Build funny characters or dark worlds. Write a love story or about someone whose parents actually have a functional relationship. But I’m doing myself and my characters a disservice by not finding new ways to tell the world about their stories.

I’m starting with mini-steps (which are slightly bigger than baby steps, but nowhere near great strides), and I’ve bought a book on marketing. I have no idea what most of it is saying. I was sort of expecting more of a to-do list where I could check things off to increase my self-esteem. Basically at this point I’m going to have to read the whole book to see what the point is the author is trying to make, then go back through from the beginning and make my own to-do list.

The one thing I’ve really gleaned so far is that I have to brand myself as an author. Like come up with key words and a public persona to always show the world.

What? Continue reading

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A Little Theatre

I have some thrilling news!

The musical for which I wrote the lyrics received an amazing Broadway World review!

“Other numbers, such as ‘One Man’s Trash,’ sung by the landlord, Mr. Kleinbauer, who wants to evict the store to upscale his shopping center, are wonderful new pieces by Orlowski and Russell […] ‘Rise Back Up’ is a powerhouse ballad….”

You can check out the whole review here!

I am so excited to try and shop this show out to other theatres. It’s like publishing a book…with stage lights and music.

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They’ll Be Back!

I have all sorts of news!

First and foremost, you’re going to be seeing a ton of changes on this site over the next little while. Because, and I promise this is a good thing, The Tethering series is being pulled from sale. In fact, it’s pretty much all the way gone already.

After much discussion, the decision was made to find The Tethering a new home, and pulling it from sale is a part of that process. I am so thankful for all the concern I have received and for all those people who ran to get the last few hard copies! I promise I will do whatever it takes to get Jacob and Emilia’s story back out into the world.

In other book news, I have signed a contract for the second book in the Girl of Glass series and can’t wait to dive into edits! The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days is due out in August and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic is due out in March. So there are tons of super exciting things going on!

I promise I will not let The Tethering fall through the cracks, and I will keep you updated as I receive more information. I’ve never gone through the process of getting my rights back from a publisher before, so this is new territory for me. But my awesome agent is on top of it, and everything will work out in the end.

Thank you for all your love and support! I promise the Gray Clan will live on!

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My Husband the Winner

I know I’ve said it before, but I have the best husband in the world, and here is last week’s example.

A few years ago we visited Florence, Italy. It was amazing. All right, there was a brief moment when I was super tempted to shove my husband in front of a bus, but other than a really rough hour, Florence was great!

As a useful memento, I bought a little notebook. I’ve used it ever since to plot book ideas on the go. To jot lyrics in when we’re working on music for shows. I love my little notebook. Now the pages are almost full, and we’re on our way to Ireland soon, where I’m sure I’m going to need to take more notes.

No problem, right? Continue reading

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A Love Note to OneNote

Guys, I’m in love. I’ve met a new computer program, and he’s really great. His name is OneNote, and he and I are super compatible. He takes really good care of all my story building notes and even lets me pick out the colors I want for color coding character profiles. He lets me draw on my touch screen whenever I want, and if I want to get in some face time, I can even record videos into my files.

I’ll admit I went out looking for a new program. Searched the internet, asked friends, and I didn’t know OneNote had been on my computer buried deep in Windows the whole time. Patiently waiting for me to notice him.

Now that we’re together, things are moving really quickly. I’ve started outlining a whole new world, and I can’t wait to see where the story leads us.

Note from Husband: …eh.

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The Best Book

I finished reading the best book last week. A book so good I had to call Barnes and Noble to make sure they had the second book in the series so I could drive over and get it right away. It was brilliant—six untrustworthy narrators who never really let you know what was happening or even what they hoped might happen next.

There were quite a few times in the story when I threw up my hands and thought Well, writer, you blew it. There is no way you can get yourself out of this hole. But she did write her way out of the pit of doom she had landed her characters in. And she did it in a logical way that fit within the rules of the world she had laid out for us. I think this book might have been the best thing I’ve read since the final Harry Potter book, and I’ve read a lot of really great books since The Deathly Hallows.

But for the first time I didn’t feel terrible about my writing when reading something great. Continue reading

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Another Blasted Blurb

There once was a thing called a blurb,
To write one was really absurd,
But she tried and she tried till she cried and she cried,
For all she could write was a turd.

So, anyone want to write the blurb I’m supposed to be sending my agent?

It’s for a dark YA fantasy. I mean dark literally and figuratively. It’s got three POVs, including one LGBTQ. It’s got magic but no wizards, its own religion, and some serious rules on marriage.

The hardest part is narrowing down what needs to be in the blurb. The LGBTQ angle could be great for selling the story, but it’s not really a thing until later in the book, and never once is the word “gay” mentioned. (Yes, the non-use of the word “gay” is very much intentional. I want to avoid any preconceived notions that go with the terminology with which we are all so familiar.) Continue reading

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A Rearrangement

The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days is officially out of content edits and on to the proofing stage! Wahooo!

Of course, me being me, I’ve already started the next book in the series. I can’t help it; it’s just how my brain works. So, with Boy of Blood heading over to Fiery Seas Publishing (link this to my author page on fiery seas please), working on Princess Camp the Musical, and doing my real people job onstage, things have been a tiny bit busy.

Finding time to write, even just blogs, has been super rough. Working and editing and showering have taken priority. I like to have friends, so showering is a must. Continue reading

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The Bloody Sequel

Sorry for the quietude. I’ve been working very hard on the sequel for Girl of Glass! Boy of Blood has finally been sent over to my fabulous agent and will soon find its way over to my awesome publisher!

This was a really interesting project to continue. I have a personal rule that I won’t start writing a sequel until the previous book is out of content edits. For the non-writerly readers, content edits are when they tell you that you pushed the plot too fast, find inconsistencies in your world, or tell you that there is, in fact, no romantic tension in your romance. Continue reading

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Gotta Get a Gimmick

I’m working with the amazing publisher Curiosity Quills Press for my novel The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days. The book isn’t set to be released until August, but I’m already active in guest posting on their blog and in CQ’s very active and awesome online community. This week I received and email, nay a challenge, from management. By the end of the month, they want all their authors to start using Facebook live.

I totally get the reasoning. It’s a great way to interact with your readers on a personal level. The rankings are higher for live posts than for normal text or video posts. I don’t mind talking into my phone and having it go on the internet. I mean, I am an actor, so if I were afraid of speaking to a live audience, I would be rather screwed.

My problem is what to talk about. What do I do that would be interesting enough for people to stop what they’re doing and be like, “Oh, this is how I should spend the next few minutes of my life”? Continue reading

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