Monday, August 29, 2016

Stranger Things and learning how to make the old seem new again

OMG WTF WHAT WAS THAT?? Unless you've been living under a walk you've seen something about this show call Stranger Thinks. I saw the ads but was all huh, it seemed familiar and I kept thinking Stephen Kin. So I'm at the gym with my overpriced five inch screen phone trying to watch and I almost pull a Taylor Swift on the treadmill. Okay I'm not going to watch on my cell phone. This past Christmas I bought my dad one of those Smart TVs cuz they don't do cable either. I had mentioned Stranger Things before and my dad was cranky. After almost losing my life on the treadmill my dad owed me. 

So sneakily I started it before he could object. Again even as I waited in jumping anticipation mind was screaming STEPHEN KING, the little girl, the creepy world, and kids. Yet it also reminded me of the 80's Stephen King so I'm thinking someone took one of his lesser known books and did it for Netflix. I'm actually looking up Stephen King's wiki page to confirm my thought. Then it started and I didn't pick up cell phone the entire time I watched the show. ALL. EIGHT. EPISODES.

Because I watched it with my family and they were wimps not up for binge watching we planned two episodes a night. It's one of those shows if you miss five seconds you could miss the most important thing ever. Yes, yes, I'm not the only one in love with this show for too many reasons to list. I grew up in the eighties and I saw almost all the connections, Goonies, ET, Firestarter, more than I had watched cuz I was a kid in the eighties. And I have to tell you when that van flies over the kids I was just as in awe as when the kids' bikes started flying. 

Eight short episodes wasn't nearly enough and I caught myself watching one of those videos that talked about it-but not those explaining ones I hate those ones. What I saw as I watched was him make those connections and more that I hadn't seen one after another. In seeing those things one after another that had been done before yet still seemed new, exciting, and unlike anything I had ever seen. Even though in bits and pieces I had. 

I cannot stand to watch a show and know what will happen next and it's even more annoying when I know the dialogue. It happens alot, a whole hell of a lot and even more so when I read (I have a small circle of writers I like.) Out of all the books I've read and movies and television I've watched. There was only once that I knew what was coming in Stranger Things

And this, boys and girls is what writers have to do every time we start writing a story. Especially romance, boy meets girl some kind of something keeps them from living happily ever after until it all gets sorted and they do end up happily ever after. This is one of the most important reasons to read other stories and see the way they couldn't quite get it done. 

If you can and are able to make a brand new story that no one has ever heard or read of before but that's damn hard. The story doesn't have to be new, all the stories have already been told before. But you can make it new and different from others by bringing your style or giving it your own spin or quirk. You just have to be the one to write it. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Being Present

It sucks like a mother fucker but this writing thing is a business, especially if you're doing it on your own. There are all these cogs that keep the machine running, the writing-duh, the editing-huge duh-then there's the part that's hardest for most but is sadly almost as important as all the others and that is keeping your social media presence an actual fucking presence. It's the letting people know 'hey, I'm here.' If you like pictures of half nekkid men, sarcastic and saucy humor then you might just like the books written by that person. 

It can be a sonofabitch because to me it feels like I'm being pushy which is why I just post the stuff I find funny and think has to be shared. I also am an extremely private person so those times when I'm going through personal things and don't have the time to post to explain why I'm not in every day But here is the sad yet also glorious fact, the world keeps turning when you aren't in it. So if you don't reminding people you are here and are someone they should check out they will move onto the next person. 

The cool thing about it is that it doesn't have to take over your whole life, a few funny tweets you can steal from others. Quirky, unique abounds everywhere and if it fits you then share. Some twat once wrote you should spend an ungodly amount of time advertising and selling yourself unless your writing is complete shit then what the twat said is complete shit. 

Even when you're in the writing cave peek your head out and let everyone know you're about to deliver some awesome and maybe share a snatch of this and that. There are big things and little things, like you know maybe writing a blog on a consistent basis-just a thought.  (yes, that was sarcasm directed at myself)

Monday, July 25, 2016

20 Questions

Yes, I have no idea what to write and I haven't posted in a bit so I am posting a get to know you 20 Questions someone tagged me in on Facebook. 

1.) What is your Author name? Fiona Aina Murphy

2.) What is the first book you ever published? Abby has Gone Wild

3.) What is your publiversary? (The day you released your first book) 4/16/2014

4.) What is your favorite book you've written thus far? Grr...that's like asking someone their favorite kid. Abby has Gone Wild and my newest His on the Rebound battle for the top spot on different days.

5.) What book took you the longest to write? His Under Contract! I rewrote that sucker four times-I wanted to trash it over and over again but I'm glad I didn't

6.) How long did it take you? About seven months

7.) What kind of music (If Any) do you listen to while you write? Most often sexy times-R&B

8.) Who is you favorite character from any of your books? Avery from His Next Chapter

9.) What are you currently working on? I have three WIPs-I usually am working on two at a time-another reason I often wonder why I do this.

10.) Do you have anything you snack on while you write?I wouldn't say snack on but I usually don't cook-so I don't have to stop-so I order pizza after breakfast and will have it for lunch and dinner.

11.) What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books? The size of a woman's dress has nothing to do with her beauty. (From His Under Contract)

12.) Are you a self published or traditional published author? Self-published

13.) What is your writing inspiration? The real crazy oddly beautiful world

14.) What genre do you write? Erotic Romance

15.) Do you have any writing rituals? Nope more like habits of mainlining coffee and cursing and rocking back in forth in distress when the voices stop talking

16.) Do you have a specific place you write or time? Not really but I never seem to hit my stride until after midnight.

17.) Do you have any advice for inspiring writers? Just keep writing and don't stop even when you think you have writer's block keep writing-there's thing called editing that will fix it all later.

18.) What are your writing goals? If any? To make a living off writing so there is no day job

19.) What authors inspire you and your writing? I'm a huge Lynne Graham fan. I have reread her books over and over when I feel like I need inspiration.

20.) What will be you next release? I have no freaking idea.

Monday, July 4, 2016

I joined a gym. Man, I hope those aren't famous last words.

For the record I do yoga at home and I love it but isn't exactly burning the calories. It's been almost ten years since the last time I was in one and those ten years have not been kind. I actually used to work out often and the funny thing was I hated every minute of the 45 minutes cardio and fifteen minutes on the weights that I worked out for-loathed it, counted down the seconds but then afterward when I was done and heading to my car  I would be bouncing with energy and happy but then I busted my knee up pretty badly and when I tried to work out my knee screamed 'bitch no!' until after a few months I just stopped trying. 

I've been looking around and there's the Y but damn it's expensive and all those classes don't really work for my schedule and I prefer to do yoga at home anyway. I look around at the gyms in my area and the least costing one is one that serves free pizza on Mondays hmmm....they are actually hella smart it ensures they have continued business fine I'm in. Finally I tell myself to stop fucking around and I go in. It's actually less expensive then I feared it will be. 

If I put stuff off I'll find an excuse so, I joined yesterday. 
First day of working out. It starts with preparing at the Dollar General store next door, I need socks, a lock and ear buds. Okay I'm ready. 
It's late which is good, I generally hate interacting with people-there's a reason why I work in a call center I can roll my eyes and flip off the phone without them seeing me. Any way it's pretty quiet. Since I have a bad knee and I want to get gradually in my plan is to start on a stationary bike go to the elliptical, then the treadmill and then finish with the weights. My goal is twenty minutes on each. (hahahshahahahahha)
Sitting down on the bike, it's hella different than the last time I worked out and fuck I'm short I can barely get my leg over the middle. Great my freaking legs don't reach the peddles. I move the seat and...shit now I'm to my knees. Okay scootch back a little and I'm good. Plug in my ear buds find me some 50 Cent (I said it's been 10 years) and go. 

Huh....okay...Is it weird I lost feeling in my foot at only two minutes in? Okay now my other foot, look down to make sure feet are still there. Really???? Only four fucking way. Okay let's make it fifteen minutes. Close my eyes and oh shit my thigh is burning, burning, burning oooohhh okay that works, numb is better than burning. I'll take it. Ow, ow, ow I can feel my foot oh please go back to numb, please. Okay you know what it's been ten years so how about ten minutes let's go to ten minutes. Glare pleadingly at the clock then holy shit entire lower body is no longer numb and on fire. Squeeze eyes shut and pray it's over. Open eyes not even a minute has passed. Two minutes, please ten minutes. And I'm done. Fight not to whimper as I get off and my knees threaten to buckle. Very, very slowly wipe down machine. On legs of Jello I move to the elliptical. 

Okay, learned my lesson so ten minutes it is. Dead foot, dead foot sonofabitch okay, it's good. It's all good. No, no it's not. I want to go home right fucking now. I'm going home. I'm going home. Ewww...I'm sweating!!! Five minutes and I'm swaying off that motherfucker. I stumble past the weight machines because I really just want to sit down and cry. Then remember there are people watching so I keep swaying toward the treadmill. 

Fuck these fuckers are tall I think as I climb up. Okay, passing out would be so bad right now. Grip the edge very hard and take a deep and then another then try not fall over.....and the moment has passed. Turn on the machine, just start walking it jolts and my heart kicks, oohh good for the not passing out thing. Slow, very fucking slow-I'm plodding if you will-a toddler could beat me but I'm still fucking moving. Find Til I Collapse by Eminem and pray it keeps me standing. Ten minutes, that's all. Although legs are feeling like cotton at least they are there and I keep going. Eww...I'm sweating on my back and sweat is getting in my eye. That glow, remember that fucking glow? Remember how bouncy and happy you felt? Ten minutes I hit stop and jump down from machine and fuck my knee is screaming like a banshee. 

I stumble into the locker room and sit gasping for a solid five minutes. Not going to pass out. I wipe the sweat off grab my stuff and shuffle out of the building. I get into my car. Well I fucking did it. Didn't quite hit my goals but I did it and didn't pass out. 
No fucking glow though *sigh*  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Proof that Amazon and KU is not the end all and be all

As I have admitted very often, I have no fucking idea what I'm doing. I look at what others who seem to be successful are doing and do my best to try and copy what they are doing. One goal though has always been clear, write as many stories-good stories-as I possibly can. Over and over I have read and seen for myself what having a strong catalog can do. So, fuck me it's been almost two damn years now...sorry just realized that. Any way I did a release of two books together in one month and that was when I saw what good release can really do for sales, not only did my new ones sell but my whole catalog sold. I'm just going to get real here and use numbers. I made $800ish total almost dead even between Amazon and Nook then it slowly trickled down, $600ish untl almost three months later it stayed at $200 for months and that's where it's been on a monthly basis pretty consistently ever since, between all three-Kindle, Draft2digital, and Nook. But lately Nook has sunk to the toilet and I'll admit it worried the hell out of me going into my latest release. 

After a lot of thought I decided to release my two latest month after month, hoping to keep those interested coming back, nevermind that I didn't and do not have anything even half way finished to follow those up with. So I did the rounds, hit up bloggers saw a dismal showing in people who supposedly support me as I have always supported them-I cut those bitches off-and an attempt at Facebook advertising and even a round on Twitter. Release day came and the sells at only .99 cents for a limited time weren't anywhere near what I hoped they would be. Despite hitting refresh a dozen times day it didn't move the number on Kindle and I never got closer than in the 200 area. I curled into a ball and cried for a few days, I was also without my anti-anxiety meds but still it was a rough fucking week. 

Then in a last desperate hope to see something I checked on my sales for Draft2digital which sell me on Kobo, Apple and other things that rarely sell except Apple. When I saw the number of books sold I blinked, then blinked again. Holy fucking shit, my chest got tight and I couldn't breathe for a minute. No fucking way. I had sold over 300 books and was at double what I had made on Kindle at that point and this was after the increase from .99 cents to $3.99. I did a search and found out was in the top 20 on Erotic Romances for iBooks and had been in the top 10 for days. When the month ended I made on Apple more than I had made on all the other platforms combined in one month. All those years of hard work had finally paid off, my others were selling, it wasn't just my new one. While yes my new release sold 238 at .99 cents it then went on to sell 179 at $3.99 I sold 247 of my other titles in May and with Kobo and the other sites I ended the month at 787 books sold. My other titles are now selling about what my new release for June is selling. Once again on Apple I will likely end the month at more than I have sold on all the other platforms combined and am currently at 517 books sold.

Will this last? Duh, no but I fizzled so fast on Kindle with my second release even with the sales on Apple I was disappointed. On Kindle last month I barely hit 100 sold of the new release, this month I think I'm sitting in the seventies. The point is I found new readers and readers found a new author and they weren't so cheap they only bought me at .99 cents and they came back and bought more books. What happened on Apple for me is in every way possible for another author, it wasn't a fluke. 

Last month gave proof and real numbers supporting the fact that Kindle isn't the only place to sell. It isn't the only place to make money and Amazon doesn't hold all the cards. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rafflecopter Winners

Winners Are

$100 Crate and Barrel Gift Card- Jen W.

$20.00 Amazon Gift Card- Kathy C.

$10.00 Amazon Gift Card- Angela

$20.00 Starbuck Gift Card- Lilly S. 

$10.00 Starbucks Gift Card- Summer P. 

Supposed to be ebook from my catalog went with $5.00 Amazon Gift Card 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Erin M. 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Nikki 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Stephanie 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Kim D. 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Julie T. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Writing is work

With my commitment issues I don't have the best track record for jobs as well as cities. If I don't like something I quit. Because of this I found a fickle person's best friend is a temp agency. A few times I went to them to find a permanent job and sometimes I went for something temporary so I could pay bills while I found a job I really wanted. No matter what reason I took a temp placement I went in every day as if I wanted the job so they could keep me as long as I wanted and remembered that while I worked to get in. It worked, every temp assignment I have had requested me to stay longer and in the future if the job was truly just temporary. Twice companies put me in an uncomfortable position of having to turn them and them upping the salary offer-nice problem to have. 

Every time I sit down to write I do it with mindset of I want this to be my only job. Every time I create a tweet I do it thinking of that tweet being my knocking on someone's door and hoping they'll let me in as Fiona Murphy erotic romance writer won't you like me, my books and buy me forever. The money I spend I do wisely, do I want to spend three hundred dollars for editing? No but I do want people to remember that even if they didn't like the story itself it wasn't because of dropped commas, words and typos. Every book I sell is a brick I'm laying on the foundation of the home I hope to build as a full time author. Will it happen overnight? God no, hell it seems like decades are ahead of me, that's okay I don't have anything better to do because this is all I want to do. 

I spend at least fifteen minutes twice a day on twitter, retweeting, making connections and doing my best to be interesting to hopefully get a click to my page. Now please don't think every time I say hi, or retweet someone I'm rubbing my hands together while laughing maniacally as I think of the dollar bills floating through the air-not even close. I am genuinely hoping to make connections with people, because this is a lonely business and because if I didn't I would probably only have myself to talk to every day. What I'm trying to say is that this writing thing, at the nitty gritty it's a business and you have to work for it. Like anything in this world you get what you put into it and sometimes you don't get it back for awhile. If you aren't willing to put in the long hours, the money without return and the agony without any ecstasy then this isn't for you and kindly step aside for the rest of who do and are willing to do it every day. 

If you only want to write in between commercials of Gossip Girl or when the mood catches you for an hour or two a month then this isn't for you. If you aren't willing to edit until your eyes water then crash hard for six hours before your alarm goes off for the day job then just close your laptop and go back to playing candy crush on your phone. If apathy fills you at connecting with people just to say hey not buy my book or you can't get your shit together enough to put a blog or website up and update that shit at least once or twice a month then please stop calling yourself a writer and go back to reading. Does it sound like I'm being a bitch? Maybe and I'm cool with that. What I'm not cool with is listening to other writers whine or mumble with surprise why they aren't doing better when they aren't putting in the work. I hustle my ass off like my rent's due and my pimp is gonna beat my ass if I don't bring home the paper. Title by title it's paying off but I can't sit back and chill, I'm still working the day job and it still crushes my spirit every day when I have to get up and close my laptop to go to work. So I put in the time and I do my best not to whine or complain-but I'm a naturally whiny person and I'm always hundred percent grateful for every purchase and every review, every person kind enough to retweet and every author who says hey and share my shit and when I want to look at the distance to see how far I have to go I keep my head down and focus on the now as I move forward because it's now that matters, now that I work for and now that will become the distance I once looked up and saw.