I never imagined I’d be a sought-after book cover designer. Heck, I never imagined I’d be a book designer, period.
I never considered myself an artist. I’ve never been particularly good at drawing or painting, and when I was growing up, the concept of computer-based graphic design was still science fiction.
Now, I always wanted to work with books. But I thought it would be on the word end of things. And I do. But the art aspect surprised me.
I didn’t discover my talent for design until graduate school, really. And it led to a master’s degree in not just editing but also design.
Now, I get to use that degree every day. It’s pretty awesome.
Being a mom seems to come with the need for a lot of lectures. I mean, I’m responsible for creating a fully functioning (and hopefully successfully contributing) member of society. And call me crazy, but I’d like her to be a decent, responsible member of said society.
So, I spend a lot of time explaining how things work, how to behave, etc. For example, the other day I had to explain what “blackmailing” is and why we don’t do that to our friends (or anyone, really, if we want to stay out of jail). I also explained that we can’t be blackmailed if we don’t do things we shouldn’t and then lie about it. Sigh. So many lessons, so little time.
That said, she’s a great kid. I just like to get ahead of potentially damaging future behavior.
But lectures aren’t always a mom thing. And sometimes, we even volunteer to listen to them.
In fact, right now, you can elect to get lectured a lot…and for a great price.
I’ve had a long and exhausting couple of weeks, and I need a little pick-me-up. Sunshine. Cute animals. Something.
Bunnies. Bunnies are cute. Little cotton tails. Adorable twitchy nose. Soft, fuzzy ears.
Sadly, I have no bunnies readily available. But I can talk about a rabbit. BundleRabbit, that is.
(OK, it’s a stretch, but you try writing this blog every week and see how many ways you can lead into book promotion
So, I thought I’d tell you about a couple of new projects WMG has books in on BundleRabbit.
Sometimes, it feels like I’m surrounded by aliens. Or maybe I’m the alien. Either way, sometimes humans make no sense to me at all.
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy animals and babies. They’re nonverbal, and for some reason, that makes them a whole lot easier to understand. Baby crying? Probably hungry, tired or wet. Cat meowing? Probably hungry or seeking attention.
But an adult human crying? Could be anything: joy, sadness, frustration, anger, exasperation…the list goes on.
Humans are complicated.
Which is one of many reasons I find our latest volume of Fiction River so compelling.
I have a couple of fun surprises in store for you this week with two fantastic, yet totally different, types of bundles. And even better, one is nonfiction and one is fiction!
First up is The Write Stuff 2017 Storybundle. Curated by brilliant businesswoman and amazing author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, this bundle contains books by Kris, Dean Wesley Smith, Lawrence Block, Joanna Penn, Tonya D. Price, Maggie Lynch, Leah Cutter, Chuck Heintzelman and Mary Buckham, plus a free (yes, you read that right…free) WMG online lecture and steep discounts on Jutoh and Writer’s Café.
My partner, John, and I recently started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen the series before, but this is his first time. It’s so much fun experiencing it again with him, but it’s hard at the same time. I don’t want to give any spoilers.
That joy of introducing a friend or loved one (or even a random stranger) to a beloved series is, I believe, universal, at least for story people like us.
That’s one of the many reasons we started releasing series bundles this year.
And this month, I have two new bundles to tell you about. Another three-book series starter and the first of the WMG Starter Bundles.
We’ve had very strange weather this year. Winter was grayer and rainier than usual (and that’s saying something for the Oregon Coast). Spring has yet to really make an appearance. And some days, the weather is just plain weird.
For example, last week we had a winter-like wind and rain storm one day and the next we had sun, then rain, then hail, then sun. The latter reminded me of a Midwest summer day—except for the temperature, which remained in the low 50s.
I love living on the Oregon Coast, but I must admit that this winter has been trying. I need sun. And warmth. And probably a lot of Vitamin D.
But since I have a child in school and can’t exactly pop off to Hawaii right now, I thought I’d find a book to talk about that had something warm or sunny in the title.
Even though it was April Fool’s Day this past weekend, I found myself thinking about love. Well, maybe that’s because of the Fool’s Day thing. Only a fool falls in love, right? Or maybe we act like fools when we’re in love. Or is it fools rush in? Whatever. Now that I know what true love is, I really don’t care. Totally worth it.
But that’s not the only reason I feel like love is in the air. I was also thinking about love because I was thinking about romance, specifically romance writing. And that’s partly because I spent the weekend with the wonderful folks at the Rose City Romance Writers Spring Fling conference in Portland.
They invited me to be one of their four presenters to share tips on how to give their books some marketing love. I met some amazing people, including event organizers Gina Fluharty and Lisa Leoni and my fellow panelists: Cecilia Tan, Farrah Rochon, and Amy Liz Talley. I had an absolute blast. Romance writers are really cool people to hang out with.
I have a confession to make. I used to hate basketball. Even as a kid I didn’t like it. At 5’8” I was always asked if I played. I’d try not to roll my eyes. Yes, I’m tall, I’d think. But tall does not equal enjoying running back and forth chasing a ball.
My stepfather loved watching it, but that didn’t make me like it any more. And my second husband also loved watching it, but that only made me come to loathe the sound of sneakers screeching on polished wood.
Heck, the only time I’d ever gotten excited about a basketball game was when my dad told me he had two tickets to see the Dream Team play in Barcelona in the 1992 Olympics (he was living in Madrid at the time, so we were within driving distance). I didn’t even mind not going to the game (there were four of us, but only two tickets). I just wanted to go to the Olympic Village. But my dad, the ever-cautious Marine, didn’t want two college-aged girls wandering the streets of Barcelona alone while he took my younger sister to the game. So, we never made it to Barcelona. I’m still grumpy about that one.
And I still didn’t like basketball.
Until last year.
Today is the first day of Spring. And thanks heavens. It’s been a long, long winter on the Oregon Coast. It’s been a long winter a lot of places, it seems.
Most years, I don’t mind the winters here in Lincoln City. Yes, we get an average of 97.27 inches of rain per year (according to Wikipedia, which also thinks we have an average high temperature in August of 72 degrees [I wish—we’re about 10 degrees cooler than that], so allow for a little wiggle room). And yes, the wettest months of the year are November through March. But we usually get some spectacular sun breaks amid the deluge. This year, however, it’s been unrelentingly rainy and gray.
So, like I said, come on Spring. Please.