Tag Archives: B-Fest

#SATurdate: Me Before You, Thief of Lies, Pit Mad, & Bad Bloods Sequel

11 Jun

I’ll be signing books and hosting an author panel at TWO Barnes & Nobles this weekend for #BFest! Come see me today at Oak Park Mall’s B&N in Overland Park, Kansas from noon to 3 PM, or stop by Zona Rosa’s B&N in Kansas City, Missouri from 2 PM to 4 PM tomorrow!

What I’m Writing:

So remember how I finished the mysterious manuscript known as D? Well, I started outlining N, the sequel to D. Granted, since I wrote the original D years ago, I also wrote an outline for a sequel years ago, and I had to go through it to see what was salvageable. Spoiler alert: almost nothing.

I also joined #PitMad this week, which was a lot of fun! I’m actually helping host a writers group on Facebook—Twice the Jennifers—while author Jennifer Anne Davis is out of town, and I recommended that everyone with a completed unpublished manuscript join #PitMad, so I thought I would get in on the fun! I love these contests because you can connect with great people, and I’ve also received priceless advice by participating. Also, if you’re looking for an awesome online writer’s group, you should apply to join Twice the Jennifers! For all of you wondering what D is about…Well, here it is:

As you can see, it’s about a 16-year-old Wing Chun fighter with narcolepsy who portals to a shadowy dreamscape where nightmares are people, princes need saving, and spirits steal our subconscious. I’d compare the overall gothic feel to Splintered by A.G. Howard and the world-building to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

P.S. D = Dreammare. N = Nighttrance. I’ll call these novels by their titles from now on.

What I’m Publishing:

I FINALLY got my hands on pre-release copies of November Snow, part two of Bad Bloods, which means some of you are already reading it! If you’re interested in reviewing Bad Bloods on your blog, please e-mail me at shannonathompson@aol.com. For those of you already reading, I hope you’re enjoying the duology. If you didn’t see the latest Teaser Tuesday, check out my right side tool bar, but here is the #1lineWed preview. This week’s theme was numbers:

In other exciting news, I’ve spoken to Clean Teen Publishing about the possibility of continuing Bad Bloods. Originally, when I first started off writing Bad Bloods when I was eleven, my plan was to write 12 books—one book for each month of the year—and I wrote a sequel and outlined a third book. Granted, I haven’t rewritten these novels, but I’m considering continuing the Bad Bloods series in the future. But that’s all I can say for now! We will see.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages. 

Sign up for the Book Blitz!

Sign up for the Book Blitz!

What I’m Reading:

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

I finished Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, and I LOVED it. It was an addictive, thrilling, & personal tale of twisted deceit. I recommended it to readers of suspense, mysteries, thrillers, and those who love detailed, personal voices. Read my 5-star review here.

I also started re-reading Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake! I originally read this wonderful novel when it first came out in January, but I just had to read it again! If you haven’t checked out this book, do so. I’ll write a more in-depth review soon, since I didn’t write one the first time, but I love, love, love this story.

What I’m Listening To:

My roaring AC. It is the summer!

What I’m Watching:

Me Before You: I LOVED it. And I cried nearly the whole way through it. Emily Clarke did a FANTASTIC job of Lou without her Game of Thrones character leaking through, and Sam Claflin was perfection (as per usual).

movies

I also watched the documentary Girl Rising, which is about educating young girls from around the world. Their stories are heartbreaking, honest, and moving. Then, I saw the documentary Code Black, which is about emergency room situations in county hospitals and the health care crisis in America. I recommend both (and they are both on Netflix).

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Since I had extra ingredients left over from s’mores cookies last week, I made literal s’mores this week. Granted, I did this on my gas stove…and dropped a marshmallow onto the flame, so it smells like burnt marshmallows in my house. It could be worse. Wink.

What I’m Wearing:

Work out gear, because I’ve been moving furniture all week. But I got a new bed! Yipee! (Things I never thought I’d be excited about when I was younger.)

What I’m Wanting:

13327458_1056510257729488_2781665878724677783_nSomeone to decide what I should write next. I don’t have a lot of writing time, but between editing Take Me Yesterday, outlining Nighttrance, writing a Bad Bloods sequel, or continuing with the mysterious S, I feel like my creative heart is being pulled in a million directions. So many books, so little time.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

All of my cats were running around the front yard, but so were a bunch of bobcats. I kept chasing the bobcats away, but the bobcats were relentless, and though they never snapped at my cats, I kept feeling like they were trying to eat my cats. It was a definite nightmare for my catlady self.

What Else Is Going On:

Photo from today's B-Fest book signing at Oak Park Mall!

Photo from today’s B-Fest book signing at Oak Park Mall!

I’ll be signing books and hosting an author panel at TWO Barnes & Nobles this weekend for #BFest! Come see me today at Oak Park Mall’s B&N in Overland Park, Kansas from noon to 3 PM, or stop by Zona Rosa’s B&N in Kansas City, Missouri from 2 PM to 4 PM tomorrow!

~SAT

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May’s Ketchup

30 May

Wow! That was one fast month.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this May.

Big Moments:

13221700_3230314315411_6104904338034016177_n

#1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods: November Rain on Amazon

I finished writing the mysterious manuscript known as D. All I’ve said so far is that it’s a YA portal fantasy that’s 93,000 words. As if life couldn’t get any better, I received my author copies of November Rain in the mail! (I also bought more copies for future giveaways, but in case you missed the giveaways…)

Sign up for the Bad Bloods Thunderclap and win signed swag by emailing me your support to shannonathompson@aol.com and enter this Bad Bloods Goodreads Giveaway.

If you really want to help me out, sign up for the Bad Bloods Book Blitz and keep sharing the teasers as they release every Tuesday! I truly hope you’re enjoying them.

This month, the free Bad Bloods Prequel continued on Wattpad with two more origin stories. Meet Michele and Maggie. In June, you’ll meet Ryne and Violet..and Violet? She’s connected to The Timely Death Trilogy, so look out!

Speaking of The Timely Death Trilogy, I really appreciate you all when you send in fan art, so thank you Devyn T for drawing Jessica with Eric’s headphones.

June is going to be a busy month! For Barnes & Noble’s first-ever national teen book fesitival, I will be signing books and hosting an author panel in TWO KC stores. Come see me on Saturday, June 11th in Overland Park, Kansas, or on Sunday, June 12th in Zona Rosa, KC, MO. More info can be found on my Events page.

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. The Worst Thing A Reader Ever Said To Me: This was a repost of a popular past article, so I was and was not surprised this post did so well. On one hand, I’m really glad my honesty is helping some of you with your struggles with writing. Writing is hard! Harder than a lot of writers admit. But on another hand, I worry that negative topics are more popular than positive/productive posts. Why do I worry? Because I worry about all the writers who are in pain while writing. I worry that there seems to be more insecurities with writing than confident, happy writers. It’s okay to worry. It is. But enjoy the journey while you write. Remind yourself that it’s a tough journey—and that it’s okay that it’s tough—but ultimately, you love writing, and that’s what matters. All negatives aside, writing is what we love.

2. The Truth Behind an Author’s Instagram: I really want to write articles like this for all my social medias, because it is important for authors (and readers) to remember that social media—while fun—isn’t the whole picture. I know we show our highlight reels every day, and things seem perfect, and everyone’s life appears wonderful, but like I mentioned above, writing is hard. Writing is a career. Writing is more than sitting around and coming up with ideas, and I hope this showed how social media can warp that, even though social media is still a lot of fun.

3. The 90-10 Rule for Marketing and Writing, and How To Love It.

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Continuing with the two articles above, writing is hard. It’s a business. I stay organized with my writing-marketing calendar, and I truly believe a lot of writers could help themselves by trying to organize themselves that way. It’s easy to get lost in marketing (and harder to swallow the fact that, yes, you must market, a lot, no matter how you’re published), but you can learn to love it, and you can guarantee you don’t forget to write with a few little reminders.

 

Other Blog Posts:

Authors, Add Extras to Books: I LOVE extras. When I read a series and want more, the first thing I do is stalk that author’s social media for extra tidbits, so when I became an author, I knew I wanted to share my extras: my calendars, swag, fanart, character charts, articles, etc. This article outlines how to do it and what to share.

Confessions of a Slow Writer: There’s a lot of pressure in the industry to be a fast writer. This article outlines why it’s more important to just be you.

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

Tackling Diversity in YA: After my article on diversity last month, many of you asked me how I tackle diversity in my own work. This was a Bad Bloods themed article about how I explored diversity in my latest piece.

What Changes From First Draft to Publication? Spoiler Alert: A lot.

#SATurdate: Captain America, Chunky Monkey, Paperbacks, & Minions: A weekly update on what I’m writing, reading, watching, baking, listening to, and more.

#SATurdate: The Jungle Book, Thunderclap, and Through the Looking Glass: A weekly update on what I’m writing, reading, watching, baking, listening to, and more.

#SATurdate: MWG Conference, The Crown, Allergies, and Silicon Valley: A weekly update on what I’m writing, reading, watching, baking, listening to, and more.

#SATurdate: X-Men Apocalypse, Winter, Money Monster, & Banana Desserts: A weekly update on what I’m writing, reading, watching, baking, listening to, and more.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic.

Thank you to… 

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers: The Book Forums, Crazy Beautiful Reads

Calculated on May 26 at 20,765

Calculated on May 26 at 20,765 followers

#SATurdate: X-Men Apocalypse, Winter, Money Monster, & Banana Desserts

28 May

What I’m Writing:

I’ve actually been working on the free Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week. Even though the origin stories were written a long time ago, the next few stories needed more attention than the other ones. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first three chapters—which included the origin stories of Adam, Michele, and Maggie—and you’ll meet Ryne from the Northern Flock on June 3. Even crazier? Violet’s story releases on Wattpad June 17. Violet—previously known as Kati in the original publication—is actually a shade, and she may or may not be directly linked to The Timely Death Trilogy. That’s right. Bad Bloods and The Timely Death Trilogy are linked. After Violet, though, you’ll FINALLY get to meet a Southern Flock character. (They formed later than the Northern Flock, hence why you haven’t met them yet.) I’ll continue to post a new origin story every other Friday on Wattpad. If you like the stories, please vote, comment, and share. It helps little authors like me out. Other times, I get really bored (since I’m trying to force myself to take a little break from writing), and I spend hours on Rinmaru games creating my characters. Here’s Adam, Michele, and Maggie as kids.

kids

What I’m Publishing:

If you sign up for the Bad Bloods Thunderclap, I will send you signed swag from The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods! Sign up here. Once you do, take a screenshot of your support and e-mail it to me at shannonathompson@aol.com, along with your address, and I’ll send it soon.

GoodreadsGiveawayThere’s also a Goodreads Giveaway going on for November Rain right now! And that’s not all. If you pre-order November Snow and send me the receipt to shannonathompson@aol.com, I will send you your eBook copy of November Rain TODAY. Also, if you write a review, you will receive November Snow, too.

The #1lineWed preview was “anger,”so here’s this week’s preview: “Enough,” Michele snapped, but even her anger was delicate.

What are readers already saying?

“Fast Paced. Intriguing. Gripping. Just like any other book Thompson wrote, this one stands tall. An epic read that will take you in from the very first page and not let you go. A real page turner.” – Crazy Beautiful Reads

“I recommend November Rain for EVERYONE but especially fans of dystopian and SCIFI. A great novel. It was full of strong characters each with their own background and an interesting world.” – The Book Forums

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

What I’m Reading:

13245305_1049308838449630_6469427564510674207_nI FINALLY started Winter by Marissa Meyer! As many of you know, I love The Lunar Chronicles, so I’ve been holding onto the fourth book with a deep desperation for more time to read it. I’m only a little ways into it, but I love it already. Winter is such an interesting, complex and shameless character. She’s very refreshing, and of course, a welcome addition to The Lunar Chronicles cast.

What I’m Listening To:

13320366_1049951935051987_9197921459974128700_oTornado sirens. That’s right. We had some tornado issues here this week. And they almost killed me. And by “almost killed me,” I mean my cats almost killed me when I was forcing them into the basement to…you know…save their lives…from the tornados that never came. Oh, well. I’ve always wanted Wolverine scars on my neck. All was forgiven when we watched the storm together afterward.

What I’m Watching:

Since I’m attempting to take a writing break, I practically lived at the theatre.

X-Men Apocalypse: I see why there are rumors to replace Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. I LOVE LOVE LOVE J-Law, but I feel like they’ve typecasted her into playing Katniss playing Mystique rather than an authentic Mystique (which I bet is the director’s choice, not hers), but it might be time to switch things up. Other than that little note, I LOVED X-Men Apocalypse. It was really fun to see how it tied into the other films, and I most definitely loved the hint to the destruction of the future Jean/Phoenix. Nightcrawler is one of my favorites, so it was great seeing him, too! Stay after those credits, folks. The little teaser is awesome.

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Money Monster: I surprisingly loved this movie. I don’t know why I didn’t think I would like it. (Maybe because I only saw slander ads after George Clooney was marketing to pay off some student loan debt while advertising for this movie.) But I really loved this movie. Although one or two scenes weren’t believable to me, I thought it was suspenseful and disturbingly honest about the economy and how it affects the little guy. It leaves you dissatisfied in a perfect way.

clooney-char

I also saw Zootopia this week. That movie is SUPER cute, and I really loved the message behind it. I also want a pet fox now.

I recommend all three movies above.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

After having family in town, we had 12 bananas in the house that were going to rot, so I made mini banana foster cheesecakes and honey vanilla banana bread. Click either link for the recipe I used. I definitely recommend them both, though the banana bread will definitely last longer, and those cheesecakes are awesome but SUPER sweet. (I’ll definitely make them again.)

desserts

What I’m Wearing:

I wore yellow to channel my inner minions while baking banana desserts.

What I’m Wanting:

CjY2bS6VAAQ7gfZCassandra Clare is writing a Magnus Bane trilogy with Wesley Chu for adults, and I want it right meow. Here’s the official announcement from EW: Cassandra Clare Will Publish Series Based on Magnus Bane.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So a bounty hunter was trying to kill me, and a friend called—very nonchalant about my impending death—and invited me to come on a train ride if I survived. I barely reached the station without being killed, but I boarded the train with my friend safely. Except not really. This train wasn’t just a train. It was an ocean train…so it swam over waves and storms and such. You could also get on the on-board swimming pool, which connected with the ocean, and there, you could swim with the dolphins and other sea creatures as you traveled on the train. But then people started committing murder on the ocean vessel, and we were trying to solve it. It ended up being the dolphins. Tricky creatures.

What Else Is Going On:

changeYou probably heard the news, but there’s been a slight change to my #BFestBuzz! I’ll be signing books and hosting an author panel in TWO Barnes & Noble stores in the Kansas City area during B-Fest!

On Saturday, June 11th, come see me at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS. 
Event Link.

On Sunday, June 12th, you can see me at Zona Rosa in Kansas City, MO. Event Link.

I really hope to meet some of you there, but since I know many of you don’t live in the KC area, I hope one day that I can come to your town, too!

~SAT

#WW Website Wonders

25 May

Every month, I share all of the websites I come across that I find helpful, humorous, or just awesome. Below, you’ll find all of May’s Website Wonders categorized into Writing, Reading, and Exploring.

If you enjoy these websites, be sure to follow me on Twitter because I share even more websites and photos like this there.

Favorite Article: What is Your Magic Number? by Kristin Nelson

Kristin Nelson, as many writers know, is a literary agent (Nelson Literary Agency), and she’s a genius. She writes #PubRants and other helpful articles and tidbits to help writers get out there and stay confident. This article is a perfect example of that. It’s short, sweet, and too the point. Nearly everyone writes numerous manuscripts before getting published, and almost no one is an overnight success. I love her honesty and sincerity. Definitely recommended.

Writing:

37 Free Online Writing Courses From Top Universities: For those looking for an awesome place to learn

The Shape of Stories (infographic) Every story you love can be retold with one of eight sentences

21 Pieces of Handwriting So Perfect They Are Borderline Erotic: I have terrible handwriting, so this almost killed me with envy.

How To Write (infographic)

22 of the Best Single Sentences on Writing: Write your heart out.

Love this mug!

Love this mug!

Reading:

7 Books to Make You a Better Critical Thinker

The Top Ten Literary Love Quotes: “Each time you happen to me all over again.” – Edith Wharton

10 Ancient Books That Promise Supernatural Powers: Because why not?

Exploring:

22 Breathtaking Photos of Abandoned Places: I love abandoned places. They are perfect settings for novels (or simply perfect for stirring the imagination).

Mindblowing Photographs of the Last Surviving Tribes on Earth

I’m still posting my usual Saturday post this week, and then, of course, the Ketchup (“catch up”) post on Monday.

After that, see you in June!

~SAT

GoodreadsGiveawaySign up to win a Bad Bloods paperback in this Goodreads GiveawayI mean, who doesn’t want a free paperback? This was also this week’s Teaser Tuesday, but regular ones will continue next week. If you want SIGNED paperbacks, read my news below!

Come see me at the Barnes & Noble for B-Fest in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 PM for a book signing and author panel. More info on my Events page.

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

#SATurdate: The Jungle Book, Thunderclap, and Through the Looking Glass

21 May

What I’m Writing:

This week I finished my initial edit of D, and now that I’ve cranked that entire manuscript out in a ridiculous amount of time, Shannon is taking a much-needed break. But hey! I have three novels complete and ready to pursue publication. I’m sure I’ll recover from writers’ burnout soon.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the book business cards and banner! I will show everyone those soon, and hopefully, give away some swag. My Thunderclap for Bad Bloods just started, too! What’s a Thunderclap? It’s an automatic social media post about Bad Bloods that will release on July 18, 2016. You can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, and it really helps little authors like me out. I’d appreciate any and all help. Sign up here

maggieIn other news, the Bad Bloods Prequel continues with Maggie’s story on Wattpad! Read how she joined the Northern Flock by clicking her name or start on the first chapter by clicking the prequel link. There are currently three chapters out: Adam, Michele, and Maggie. Now, a sneak peek from Maggie: Surely even the best gifts are worth less than saving a life.

The #1lineWed preview was “hooks,” which means any line that ends a chapter, so this week’s preview is actually a line from a previous Teaser Tuesday, so you might recognize it! We bled the same as humans, but there was one difference. We bled too much.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.
draft3

What I’m Reading:

I’m reading Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, and it’s great so far! If you love light YA sci-fi/dystopian romance, you’ll enjoy this book. It is set in the future where certain people are raised without a digital footprint (no photos, Internet, etc.), and then, they are sold on their 18th birthday to the highest bidder.

What I’m Listening To:

I currently have a Disney sing-along CD in my Vietnam pickup, and let me tell you, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me all week. Singing “Under the Sea” while it’s pouring rain (and you’re terrified of driving in the rain) helps everything.

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw The Jungle Book, and I LOVED it. (Duh.) I thought Neel Sethi was fantastic! And the graphics were both lovely and haunting and evocative. I enjoyed the songs, and I definitely enjoyed hearing some of my favorite actors among the cast—including Christopher Walken and Bill Murray. Fun fact: Bill Murray’s brother voiced the Disney Baloo, which is why Bill Murray is voicing this Baloo. (There’s actually a lot of interesting facts about this movie. Check them out on IMDB. I thought they were really neat.) My favorite part? The ending. It’s nail-biting craziness.

The-Jungle-Book-Movie-Wallpapers

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking this week! Sorry, folks. When the family is in town, it’s a lot of busy craziness. I’ll make cookies or cake next week, so look out.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas! Yeah, vacation.

What I’m Wanting:

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterI want to see the new Alice Through the Looking Glass movie. And the X-Men: Apocalypse movie. And (surprisingly) the new Emma Roberts/Dave Franco film, Nerve. I say surprisingly only because I’m not normally an Emma Roberts fan, but that movie looks right up my alley.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a dream that I went to one of those slasher parties. What’s a slasher party? You know, those rumored events that extremely rich people attend to watch terrible things happen to people? Yeah. I was at one of those for some reason, and the party was held in a basement of a hospital. Why? No clue. Shannon’s brain is crazy. But as I was leaving—wearing a ridiculously expensive gown…through a hospital…though no one seemed to notice me anyway…I started screaming out that I had snot all over my face. (Plot twist.) I woke up, and I, in fact, did have a face issue. My allergies. They took over my dreams. Then again, not a bad thing consider the whole slasher vibe.

What Else Is Going On:

instaI had out-of-town family in town, so I didn’t have much news this week! I’m looking forward to next week’s chaos. But I did release exciting future news! Come see me at the Barnes & Noble for B-Fest in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 PM for a book signing and author panel. More info on my Events page.

~SAT

#WW The 90-10 Rule for Marketing and Writing, and How To Love It.

18 May

I recently attended the 101st Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference, and a lot of aspiring authors asked about how much marketing they would be expected to do. One instance in particular seemed to shock many. Janell Walden Agyerman from Marie Brown Literary Agency stated most of her authors followed the 90-10 rule. What’s the 90-10 rule? 90% marketing, 10% writing.

This is a standard many writers don’t like to hear, and it’s true all across the board. Whether you’re self-published, indie published, or traditionally published, you should prepare for the 90-10 rule.

Granted, I understand dreading marketing. I understand worrying about getting so caught up in the sales part that you forget the writing part. I understand feeling like you’re not sure what to do or how to do it.

This is why I suggest keeping a writing-marketing calendar.

What is a writing-marketing calendar? It’s a calendar ONLY used to keep track of how much marketing and writing you’re doing and why.

And today, I’m going to show everyone mine. Granted, this method is NOT for everyone, but I swear by it. My calendar keeps me organized, inspired, and motivated. I can see where I wrote, how far I’ve come, and if I need to step up my game somehow. This particularly helps me, because I work a full-time job outside of my writing. Granted, I consider my writing career my SECOND full-time job. Why?

Well, you’re about to see. But my writing-marketing calendar keeps me motivated outside of my other job. It forces me to keep going, even when I’m exhausted, even when I feel like I want to lay on the couch and watch TV, even when I don’t feel like I can go on anymore. So…here we go:

My Author Calendar

In reality, I keep a notebook, but I couldn’t take a picture of it, because I have information in there I can’t release publicly. So, to show everyone what I do, I adjusted my calendar onto the iCalendar. This is my real-life events for April of 2016. That being said, this is the BASICS. For instance, I wrote down when I wrote articles on this calendar, but I didn’t take note of when they were posted or how many comments and interaction I had to do. Why? Well, I always post on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and I record social media stats every first of the month. So that’s an entirely different file I keep. (Can you tell I’m a file person?) Writing is business. Staying organized is key…and below, you can read my calendar key.

If you want a calendar key:

Red is physical work: moving offices, book swaps, shipping, shopping for desks, organizing my stock piles of books, letters, stamps, etc.

Orange is my website only: writing articles, updating links, etc.

Green is meetings: This is the stuff I have to censor. It includes discussions with my publisher, with fellow authors, with bookstores, and other business professionals. I kept some details in there, like my attendance to the Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference and prepping the first pages for said conference, but it’s too complicated to fit and/or get into. This would be where you’re calling bookstores for signings or a beta reader for progress and suggestions.

Purple is marketing: This includes my Twitter series #AuthorinaCoffeeShop, and shopping around for stock photos and creating teasers and book trailers. I include formatting here, since it was visual, but this is mainly where I work on my overall marketing plan for upcoming releases. That being said, this is BY FAR all that I do. I post on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. almost every single day, and I don’t include any of that, because it’s a give-in.

Only blue is my writing…if I got to write that day. You’ll probably notice I don’t write in novels every day, but hey, I went from 27,457 words to 76,617 in one month. I was pretty happy with that. You might notice I have different books, too (S and D). I also include research and editing under this. I probably won’t record any writings I do “for fun.” This is strictly for books heading toward a publication path.

Again, this is everything I do OUTSIDE of my full-time job. You might notice that I’m missing this lovely thing called weekends. Out of thirty days, I either took two days off or I was too exhausted that I didn’t write my days down. It’s honestly hard to say, but if I had to guess, it’s probably the latter. I try to do something every day, no matter what, even if only for an hour.

I highly believe in keeping track of your progress for organizational purposes as well as motivational ones. For instance, if I see I’ve been marketing a lot but not writing a thing, I know I can give myself a day to step away and get some words down, and visa versa. Some might be discouraged by this, but I suggest trying it out for one month before you decide. You might be surprised by how much more you get done or how nice it is to see a physical representation of all of your hard work. I don’t know about you all, but since almost everything is on a computer, I sometimes walk away feeling like I did nothing all day. This helps me see that I, in fact, accomplished a lot. It helps me feel proud. It helps me feel like I’m moving forward and working as hard as I can for a better future for both myself and my readers.

I live the 90-10 rule, but I don’t FEEL like I live to 90-10 rule. I feel like I live the 100 rule. 100% focus, work, and dedication to the thing I love most: writing. And now, after I record this article in my writing-marketing calendar, I’m going to sit down to do just that. Write another chapter.

~SAT

instaThe news is out! Come see me at the Barnes & Noble in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 PM for a book signing and author panel. More info on my Events page.

Did you see this week’s #TeaserTuesday? If not, check out my right side panel. You can also pre-order BOTH Bad Bloods books. A newsletter will go out later this month with more details and prizes, so I hope you’ll sign up for your chance to win.

There’s also a FREE Bad Bloods Prequel releasing on Wattpad, and you can now read Adam’s origin story as well as Michele’s. On top of that, Maggie’s story will release THIS Friday! I hope you’re enjoying it! Don’t forget to pre-order your Bad Bloods books while they’re on sale for a limited time. 😉

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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