My new paperback book cover and e-book cover for Mirabelle!

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In a way, I feel as if I am re-inventing my writing career. My husband said that when I came back from RWA in Orlando, I was excited and filled with ideas for rejuvenating my so-called writing career. It feels so-called right now, because, quite frankly, nothing is happening. I met a fellow writer at the conference, however, Jami Albright, and she gave me tremendous advice on what I needed to do to revitalize my brand. One of the most important things I can do, among other things, is to refresh my book covers and make them look professional. I have been working with a local artist in Cincinnati, Amanda Walker of Amanda Walker PA & Design Services. These are the refreshed book covers for my first-ever erotica novel, Mirabelle. Aren’t they gorgeous?

I hired a professional to re-design my book covers, and woot!

This is the new audiobook cover for Part One of Trailer Park Wives. I attended the Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando, Florida, this year, during the week of July 25 to July 29. While I was there, I attended a lot of seminars on . . . surprisingly enough . . . indie publishing.

I listened to Roxanne St. Clair discuss how she has a strict schedule she follows when it comes to self-publishing her series books.

I thought I’d attend seminars, etc., pick up a few goodie bags, etc., collect a lot of books, etc., and yes, I did all those things, but I came away from the conference excited, upset, and generally uplifted.

A writer who helped me tremendously, was Jami Albright. She met with me between the seminars, and walked me through the advertising process on Amazon. I had tried advertising years ago, on Amazon, and while I’d made a sale of one book, I spent a lot of money on the process, so I abandoned the idea of advertising on Amazon. That happened a few years ago, but one of the most important things I learned at the conference, is that many writers advertise.

Well, I was going about my advertising all wrong, and Jami showed me how to do it. It’s a process of micro-tuning your tag words, how much you’re willing to pay for “clicks” and other issues that comprise advertising.

Jami noted that my book covers were not wonderful. She was incredibly tactful. She suggested that I might want to hire a professional to re-do my book covers. She also suggested that I revise my blurbs, because my blurbs, especially the blurbs for my young adult novels, were too wordy and cerebral.

I learned so much, thanks to Jami Albright, and now I am pleased to begin the process of releasing my brand new book covers. I went to the website of the company that designs Jami Albright’s books, but they’re not accepting any new clients, and so I went looking for a new cover book artist, and found that in Amanda Walker PA & Design Services. Amanda has done a fantastic job, and these two images are the two new audiobook covers for Parts One and Two of Trailer Park Wives.

A new release!

In earlier blog posts, I said I was going to start writing medical romances and submit them to Harlequin. Well, I submitted The Heartbalm Effect to Harlequin Medical Romance on July 14, 2016, and despite the fact that the version I sent them became corrupted, and I saved it as a docx file, and then re-submitted it, I have yet to hear back from Harlequin, so I thought what the hell, I’m going to release The Heartbalm Effect on my own!!!!!                                                                                            

I haven’t released anything new since I released Trailer Park Wives Part III as an ebook (on February 13, 2017), and as a paperback novel (on February 20, 2017), and so I decided to just release The Heartbalm Effect and get it out there.

I also got to play with my website again, something that I haven’t done in quite some time, and it was a lot of fun, because I’m adding a category called Medical Romances, and I had to fidget with the menus and my pages and make the edits work out just right.

I hired Dawn of Dawn Austenworks to design my website, and I’m so glad I did, because Dawn made my writer website look lovely and professional.

In other news . . . I finished an acting gig with Dodging the Bullet’s Josh Phillips and Josh Luckett. I needed to re-film my scene as the redneck mama, because one of the actors quit after my scene was originally filmed, and we had to re-film.

But Josh Luckett, who’s been working on Strangers 2, and conferring with the director, has added some new filming techniques to his style, and I believe that my performance–my command performance as redneck mama–is much better than the scene I filmed originally.

I can hardly wait till the film comes out! The photo you see is me in full costume and makeup on the day I re-filmed my scene as Redneck Mama in Dodging the Bullet.

The makeup lady, the very talented Ashley Panzeca, had me dry my teeth, and then she applied this pasty substance that made my teeth look black! When the filming ended, I easily brushed the black tar off my teeth with toothpaste.

Don’t I look nice?

It’s been a frustrating week, waiting for people to get back to me on various matters, and so when I decided to release The Heartbalm Effect on my own, it was such a cathartic experience, you wouldn’t believe!

 

 

 

My return to the acting world

It’s hard to believe this much time has passed, but in the summer of 2014, I got to perform in two shows put on by the Batavia Theatre Project, run by Adam Haskell and Laura E. Haskell. Laura Haskell was working with her dear friend, Sarah E. Plummer, and together, the two women co-directed two plays, Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was Laura’s show, with Sarah assisting,  and Old Town, which was Sarah’s show, with Laura assisting.

Adam’s job was to build the sets. He built a stage in the middle of Sycamore Township Park for all our Midsummer Night’s Dream shows, and he also built the stage for our production of Our Town in the Batavia Elementary School.

Both plays were presented in the summer of 2014, which coincided with Batavia’s Bicentennial.

In Midsummer Night’s Dream, I played Philostrate and one of the rude mechanicals, who played ‘Lion’ in the play-within-a-play scene performed at the end of the play.

In Our Town, I played Julia Gibbs, the mother of George Gibbs. In the photo at the left, I am in costume as Julia Gibbs.

In the photo at the bottom left, I am in costume in the second act of Old Town, playing the deceased Julia Gibbs in the graveyard scene. Batavia Elementary School did not have air-conditioning, and although it was a welcome relief to wear an all-cotton blouse in this scene, every time we performed this scene, a bead of sweat trickled down my back.

It was hot!

Did I mention it was hot?

At least on the outdoor stage, we had the benefit of fresh air, but it got mighty hot out there too, in the July and August sun, but I wouldn’t have given up the opportunity I had that summer to get back into acting with two back-to-back plays. It was a tight schedule, but we all made it.

I made a lot of friends that summer, too, and that was lovely, and I came to know a lot of the people who form the acting community of Cincinnati.