Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gearin' Up

The fabulous J.K. Rowling signing books for her fans.

A given for any published author out there is the dreaded book signing. It's expected, right? Kind of like a singer/songwriter with smash hits--you're expected to go on tour, let people see your face, show 'em what you're really all about.  They have a face and a real life personality to go with the song (or in a writer's case, the book), and they're (hopefully) fans forever.

At least, that's what we hope.

For those of you who are not writers out there, you may be wondering: why dread a book signing? Don't you want to promote yourself? Get your product out there in the open? Win people's permanent loyalty? Yes, you betcha, and that would be super! But it is MEGA-scary, sitting at a table, hoping someone--anyone!--will stop and say, "Hi." Or maybe walk that extra mile and ask, "So, what's your book about?"

On August 4, the premiere of the 2012 Boney Bunch Collection, I will be signing paperback copies of BETROTHED at our local Yankee Candle store from 2-4 PM. Now, if you're not familiar with the Boney Bunch, it's a group of collectible candle holders (votives, tapers, big and little jars, tea lights, etc.) that come out every year for Halloween. Yes, it is big, big deal if you're a Yankee Candle lover like me and The Hubby. 

2011 Boney Bunch Collection (partial) by Yankee Candle

But, Alyssia, isn't a candle store, regardless of its cool promotions and to-die-for scents, a strange place to have a book signing?  Maybe!  But here's why I chose it:

1.) I love Yankee Candles.
2.) The store owner, Sandy, is one of the nicest ladies on the planet, and she's eager to promote local talent.
3.) The store itself is wedged between a chocolate shop and someplace a lot less important  (chocolate and candles, hello! there are other stores??) at our Louisiana Boardwalk, a string of outlets located on our Red River. It is THE hangout in these parts.
4.) I've gotta start somewhere, right?

I've ordered 50 books, which I am certain will prove to be way too many.  Some of those "Signed by the Author" stickers.  And I'm even looking at getting a new dress for the occasion.  Maybe something a little historical meets steampunk meets modern twist?  I know, I know.  But it's been a while since I've had reason to wear something new and funky.

Really lovin' this, although I'd have to find something
to where over AND under it.

Armed with the cool promo items The Hubby made for me--bookmarks (with real tassels!), notecards, posters, etc.--I should be good to go for my very first signing.

So, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by! Here's the details once more:

Who: Yours Truly (Alyssia Kirkhart, Author of Historical Romance and Young Adult Fiction)
What: Signing paperback copies of my debut novel BETROTHED
Where: Yankee Candle, Louisiana Boardwalk, 540 Boardwalk Blvd, Bossier City, LA
When: Saturday, August 4, 2012 from 2-4 PM

If any minor details change (like the time), I will post it here.

Thanks for reading and for your continuing support, folks! Have a fab Sunday and an even more fab week. :)

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,






P.S. If you live far, far away and would like a signed copy of BETROTHED, click here to order.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday, Monday


Can't trust that day. Monday, Monday. Sometimes it just turns out that way.

Amen, Denny, John, Michelle, & Cass (that's The Mamas and The Papas for those of you not paying attention). This day began crazy for me. Little Man didn't sleep worth a flip. Which meant Momma lost major amounts of sleep.  Which meant Momma did not write as she should have.  Which mean Momma went to work in a poo-poo mood.

Totally not a good thing for a Monday morning when you work at a courthouse and the first two handfuls of people who walk in are tattooed criminals with bench warrants who need to be added to the docket.

Boy, that was a mouthful, wasn't it?

The day started looking up, however, when...

One of our young summer workers--the same talented person who created the very first fan art for my WIP, Displacement--gave me this:

Hogwarts, Slytherin House Beaded Cuff

Made it over the weekend while watching her BF play video games.  I know, right?  If I even attempted something this complex, I'd end up with a big plop of colorful nothing.

Then, I snuck in a little writing. Shhh! Don't tell anyone! I'm about to begin Chapter 6 and am totally excited. These characters have already burrowed into my every waking thought, a truth as scary as it is wonderfully delicious. Dontcha just love it when the voices in your head have nice, snappy dialogue? Me, too!

At lunch, I headed next door to the library to check out this book:


And also ended up with this book:


Which I've decided to read first just because I like the dog on the cover.  Valid reason, right?  Plus, it features a Barry Lyga gush on the back--"Paul Griffin takes risks other authors never even contemplate.  Stay With Me is beautiful and horrifying and bittersweet in the best way possible."--and since I love, love Barry (see my review of Boy Toy here), I figured, "Why not?"

How was your Monday, Monday?  Do anything or read anything interesting?

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Revisiting


I hadn't planned to blog today. Truly. I should be writing--well, on my WIP, writing. You knew what I meant, right? Cool. But it's been one of those weekends, and I've gotten up early two mornings in a row, this one starting with baby feeding, baby rocking, laundry, coffee, and... sigh. I've made a habit out of checking Betrothed's Kindle sales, and while doing so this morning, I noticed on my "recently viewed items" at the bottom of Amazon's front page rested an entire string of R.A. Salvatore novels.

"Oh, yeah!" I thought. "I was looking up some of his stuff, wasn't I?"


When I was in my late teens/early twenties a person who shall remain nameless introduced me to the fabulous, deep, adventurous world of a dark elf named Drizzt Do'Urden.  I started as I should have, with Homeland, then Sojourn, then Exile--better known as the Dark Elf Trilogy.  With the exception of Tolkien's saga, which I read as required in high school, I had never thought to pick up a fantasy novel.  I mean, the covers were gorgeous, yes, but what could I possibly gain out of reading about elves, goblins, orcs, and dwarves?  After all, I wrote romantic stories about kings and queens, princes and princesses.  I studied British history, not Middle Earth or, in Drizzt's case, Menzoberranzan, Northern Faerûnand, and Icewind Dale (to name but a few).

But here's what I gained from stepping out of my comfort zone: the incredible, talented work of R.A. Salvatore. I really can't say enough about this guy.  What's funny is that, like so many readers and writers, I fall into reading ruts. You know how it is, when you can't find a decent book?  Every one reads the same or doesn't read at all, because the writing is like... well. Not that mine is awesome, mind, but you follow me here, yeah?

So, I cross the threshold of my friendly neighborhood secondhand bookstore, shuffle right of the counter for a change (I always go left, because it'll take me to romance and young adult), and what do I find? 


The Lone Drow by R.A. Salvatore, hardback, pristine condition, $3.

I open the cover. It creaks. And I can't suppress the smile crawling across my face, because I love it when that happens. I flip a couple pages. Land on one of the many things I love about Salvatore's Drizzt novels. Ever so often the drow (that's dark elf for you non-fantasy peeps) makes a journal entry of sorts, and it's the reader's opportunity to slide deeper into his intelligent, sharp mind.

And so, I read.

And then I think, "You know this. You know he writes so beautifully your jaw falls open and drool splashes on the page while reading. You know this, so why the heck were you complaining, albeit mentally, about a reading rut?"

Yes, yes, it's taken me forever to get to the point, but I entitled this post "Revisiting," because that's exactly what I do when I'm deep into the creation process of a novel.  I revisit the people I admire and love most. Those whose writing moves me to drool and tears and inspiration. Janet Mullany, Kristan Higgins, Simone Elkeles, J.K. Rowling, and, yes, Rob--did you know his first name was Robert? Robert Anthony, actually--Salvatore. There's a deep comfort to be had within the writing of those authors you treasure, whose works appear proudly upon your Keeper Shelf.

Whom do you revisit? Who stands out among the crush of talented authors?

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,
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