Writing a book is a big freakin deal

July 15th 2014

Since Grunge Gods‘ June release I have been overwhelmed with compliments. Family and friends of family have come up to me or left me a message on Facebook to tell me they bought and read my book. That they loved my book. That they can’t believe I found the time to write a book with three kids. But because I know so many writers who have also done the same, I have a tendency to shrug it off like it ain’t no thing. “Aw, it’s nothing,” I say.

But last night I got to thinking about writers and writing to publish. And you know what? It’s not just writing that’s hard to do in general, and I’m not just saying that because I have three kids (Danielle Steel had eight), but because writers who write novels do so without knowing if it will ever pay off. Think about it. A writer spends a year or more sacrificing time with family or even just time doing fun stuff like shopping or playing Candy Crush. They might spend their lunch hours (because they have to have a day job) working on their manuscript or they might lose sleep staying up late to work when their kids are in bed (a la Danielle Steel). After they’re done pulling their hair out in frustration over plot holes and runaway characters, they’ll send their manuscript to critique partners for feedback and then use those criticisms for revision. It might take them another year to revise. At some point, they will start researching the publishing industry (if they haven’t already) and prepare a query letter and synopsis which, all writers know, takes foooorrrreeevvvver to do and we freakin hate it. At which point they will send their novel to agents hoping someone will love it enough to want to pitch it to publishers. That could take awhile. These agents may not be able to sell a novel, so that one gets trunked while these authors then writer another novel. (breath) But we’re not done. Let’s say the author gets a book deal — hooray! They may get an advance, which the author may or may not earn out. It takes a year or two to publish. Finally, the book is released into the wild. And now the author’s greatest dreams have come true. But…that author then has to sell that book. To everyone. Everyone needs to read the book. Writers need to eat so they’re working a day job, but if they want to publish again, their book has to have a modicum of success. So now, they’re hustling at book signings and library talks and social networking has become their second life and they’re begging, begging bloggers to review their book — all these things just to get people to read this damn book that took them years to get published. All because, they, we, I wrote a story I loved so much that I was willing to do all this shit to get it out there into the world. And you know what? …

Yeah, I wrote a friggin book. And I plan on doing it again and again.

Thank you to everyone for their praise and compliments. Thank you for buying Grunge Gods because you have your choice of thousands of books, but you chose mine. It’s a big deal. Next to those three kids, it’s the biggest thing I’ve done.

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June 17th 2014

*I’m on a roll using 90s references for blog post titles.*

My thoughtful brother-in-law and sister-in-law had this jazzy Carvel ice cream cake (that’s right, mothereffin Carvel) made with my book cover on it! We had a large Father’s Day gathering so the extended family could meet our baby girl and they bring this baby out during dessert hour (my inlaws are Italian — we have a dessert hour). It was truly a stupendous, not to mention delicious surprise.

photo 1-7

Carvel cake with my book on it!

photo 2-12Isn’t this absolutely amazing? Not to mention my sister-in-law requested extra crunchies. Seriously. And there were leftovers.












Here’s me posing in front of said cake. And my book, let’s not forget that baby.

Since my book’s release, I have been blessed with an incredible show of support from friends and family. Not only does it feel like everyone I know has bought the ebook, but some people have bought the ebook and paperback or multiple copies of the paperback (thanks, Dad and Alyssa!). I don’t think it’s possible to fully express my gratitude. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.


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Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

June 8th 2014

Thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual release party Rafflecopter giveaways! The winners have been notified via email. I am grateful for everyone’s support and enthusiasm. I wish I could give prizes to everyone. Truly.

The winners of the guitar charms are: Nicole H, Jill R., Lynne P., Melissa R. and Samantha J.

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Closing Time

June 4th 2014

Thank you to everyone who stopped by today for my virtual release party. Your support and enthusiasm mean the world and I am honored you spent the day with me.

A huge shout out to my girl, Leandra, for her help with launch day. Her blog is awesome. She is awesome. Seriously, she’s a talented writer and one day I’m going to be her wingman on her release day. I can’t wait.

If you haven’t entered into the Rafflecopter, please do it now. The giveaway will close in 3 days and then I’ll notify the winners.

Lastly, if you do or did buy Grunge Gods, please leave a review for it. (Leave reviews for all the books you buy.) Reviews help authors gain visibility. Visibility means sales and those sales justify a lot of hard work.

Peace out cub scouts and love to all.

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Doc Martens, cropped tops & carpenter jeans

June 3rd 2014

Ah, the 90s. The decade of really, really baggy jeans and baby Ts and slip dresses with work boots. God, I miss all that. Although, I never wore a slip dress. I did have an awesome pair of orange Vans sneakers though. They had a shiny vinyl top and were loud. They cost $44 at JCPenney and I remember thinking they were too much money and my mom would make me return them (she didn’t). Actually, she never balked at the price. (I think my dad did though. Dad: $44 for sneakers?! Mom: That’s what they cost nowadays.) Thanks, Mom! Within weeks the vinyl cracked and my grandpa sweet-talked the cashier into allowing me to exchange them for a green pair with no vinyl. They lasted a lot longer. After all, they had cost $44.

I'm in a cast because I dislocated my wrist. But check out my kicks!

I’m in a cast because I dislocated my wrist. But check out my kicks!

As you can see, my 90s style was pretty simple. Carpenter jeans from Old Navy and long-sleeve t-shirts were my uniform. I also enjoyed the layering look. I had a Hawaiian shirt I wore over my long-sleeve Ts. That outfit looked better than it sounds now. I never really did have good style. Kinda, still don’t.

The 90s were not about polished looks. Teens put thought into what they were wearing but the look was far from fussy. If anything it was the antithesis of fussy.

I decided when writing my main character, Lainey, that I wanted her style to be simple, but a little edgier than mine (and Wilder’s style is edgier than Lainey’s). I imagined her scoring finds in vintage shops and thrift stores. Also, bell bottoms had made a huge comeback so I also pictured her rummaging through her mom’s closet. Since Lainey and I are the same age (theoretically), her mom would be my mom’s age (theoretically) and she would have owned bell bottoms or she’d be shopping for super flared Mudd jeans. Below, you can see what clothing I thought Lainey would wear on a typical September day in 1996.

Lainey Bloom's look

Lainey Bloom’s look is simple and slightly edgy.

Danny’s clothes reflect his musician persona. He’s not a glam rock star; he’s into grunge and alternative rock. He wears his favorite bands on his t-shirts and his black Converse are torn up. His look is laid back, like him. And his jeans are baggy. Below is Danny’s typical wardrobe.

Danny Obregon's look is laid back.

Danny Obregon’s look is laid back.

Wilder’s look is definitely edgier than Lainey’s. She likes dark colors and ripped fabrics. Holes in the knees of her jeans and loose flannel shirts. Shredded fishnets. Corduroy and leather skirts. Doc Martens. If it was up to me, she’d have an eyebrow ring but alas, Uncle Carl won’t allow it. I doubt he’d allow her to wear those stockings, but they are immensely cool.

Wilder's look is edgy.

Wilder’s look is edgy.

I’m curious, what was your favorite 90s style? What did you wear in 1996? What do you miss most?

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