Posts Tagged ‘FAQ’

Common Author Question: What does it feel like to hold your book in your hand?


Short Answer: Good. If you like rollercoasters.

Long Answer: My emotions go up and down and up again. Then down again.

When I hold my book the first time, I always feel giddy anticipation. I feel I could skip down the street. I want to spin on the sandy beach and frolic with my dogs.

I feel even more excitement as I send it to the Library of Congress and Copyright Office and put aside a copy for my own library. I feel pride. This thing that I have created over the course of eighteen months has grown into a book.

I start sending out review copies and making marketing materials.  No matter how sublime I thought my prose is, no matter how much I love the illustrations, a tiny hole grows in my heart. My art has left my personal sphere and has grown into a product.

I am thrilled when my first reviews start coming in. It doesn’t matter if the reader loves it or hates it. I’m skipping with joy. Someone is reading this thing I am created. (I will admit, however, that during Other Systems and The Light Side of the Moon my feelings went up and down with every review. Now I am happy to get ANY review.)

The night before the release date, my heart races as I write any last minute blog posts and schedule Facebook Posts. For The Grove’s release I was able to sleep, because Ibooks and Barnes&Noble went live around 10:30 pm PST. That is not always the case. (When The Light Side of the Moon came out, I was in a panic because no one had it on its actual release date.)

Then my book is no longer mine at all. At this moment, it is the world’s book. Readers will read it and make it their own. In the morning, because of the social media push I feel happy and excited. I have done it! I have created a world for people to enjoy! Woot!

I do my best to not check out sales every couple hours. I try not to check if I have any more reviews.Though there is social media stuff and I have a to-do list of small emails and jobs I must finish, I am not as productive as I normally am. I know though I have done the best I can, my words no longer matter, only the reader’s perception of my words. I feel a sense of loss, melancholy and listlessness.  But that too passes.

My first live event for The Grove is September 28th. Every time I think about it I get giddy again. Like I said it’s a roller coaster.

I know there are other authors out there, did I miss anything? How do you feel when you release a book? Comment below!


Other Systems FAQ so far!

So these are Frequently Asked Questions by the feedback I have gotten from my novel Other Systems. These questions and  answers are also found at the FAQ on the Other Systems Website.

What inspired you to create Other Systems?

Other Systems was inspired by the Kepler Missions alongside many other factors. First of all, I tend to be interested in groups of people that encourage camaraderie and I like ships (both space and sea-faring) so I knew I wanted to write a book with a ship in it. Secondly, I was stuck with FamineLands 3 and wanted to do something really different. Thirdly, I find the idea of time dilation and how it effects families really fascinating. Finally, I wanted to write a book that my husband would really like and he’s a big science fiction fan.

Who did the artwork? (Cover and Act Breaks)

I did. I started doing some artwork for the website, then the publisher liked it so much, she asked me if we could use it for the book. This was one of the fun things about working with a small press publishing company.

Do you identify with any of the characters?

Unfortunately, yes. I identify with all the characters at one point or another during the writing of a novel. By the second draft, all the primary and secondary characters start speaking to me even if they are not a point of view character.

Why did you choose to tell the story with the two characters Abby and Cole?

Abby was always the main character, but originally Cole’s parts were told by Harden and Helen. However when I looked over their chapters they all were repeats of Abby chapters just from their view points or they were too introspective. Since they did not add forward momentum to the plot ultimately they had to go. I loved the Prologue from Harden’s perspective, but it was so angry and emotional that it was hard to understand what was going on in the plot. The other reason I used Cole as the narrator is he looks at all three of his kids, the fleet and Kipos whereas Harden is focused upon himself and Helen is focused on protecting her brothers, running the ship, and everything else she has to do. Mark was never considered, but there is issues with his age. He starts the book at 6 and ages to 26, but he was certainly too young in the beginning to understand what is going on and during the Cole chapter between the first and second act, he would be focused on his self.

Also while Abby grew up on Earth and ages seventeen through nineteen during the course of the novel, Cole is an adult. He was raised in the fleet and begins the novel at 36, already a father of three and ends the novel at 54. The difference in their perspectives is literally astronomical.

This is how I envisioned Abby. Mixed race adolescent girl: Asian and Caucasian. long black hair, dark eyes.
(Model: Jessica Brown who also stars in the trailer)

Is Abby (or go ahead and insert your favorite character here)
based off you?

No. I will admit at times, however I do give my characters little bits of myself in order to make them feel more real. For example: Abby loves Thai or honey milk bubble tea. I didn’t bother going down to my favorite tea house and checking out the menu to pick something out for her, I just gave her my favorite flavors. (However she likes boba in hers, I do not.)

As I said, Abby begins the book at seventeen, she identifies with her maternal ancestry Chinese side more than her paternal Scottish heritage. I am just an an average thirty something white lady. So nope she is not me.


Now, this is a funny question, because I actually originally wrote this scene. However it was cut very early in the 2nd draft (of 7) since Harden and Helen were no longer point of view characters.

However the other more pressing story-telling problem is that the argument is repetitive of the next chapter when we see Cole and Harden discussing Abby’s employment. Also by this point in the book, the reader already knows Harden loves his family and while Helen is second in command, she runs the ship in regards to personnel. So the argument really didn’t add anything new to the story.


Alright so that’s my FAQ so far, f you have any other questions let me know and I will answer them on the website as well as here.

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