Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Add into the holiday rush the grief that inevitably comes around this time of year. Forcing a smile when those you are missing aren’t here can be the hardest thing. I’ve lost so many relatives, so many who I can’t see any longer. I still find myself turning to say something to them. Or thinking I should call them. Or wishing they were here to see this, or that. Those emotions aren’t fleeting, they are there every moment of every day, but they seem more intense around this time of year. It makes focusing on the here and now very difficult. Is there a solution for this? A cure for grief? I don’t believe so, but I think we need to take those feelings in and let them go again. If not for our own sanity than for the sake of those around us. We need to feel them, but not dwell. And in the thread of not dwelling I will move on…
I’ve just signed up for my first ever blog tour, for Liquid Fire. Beginning February 10th and running until the 24th. Don’t ask me what that means, I’m not quite sure yet. I am sure I will figure it out though. It’s getting pretty damn exciting, I can’t wait until everyone can read Lee’s story. She’s quite the character – a strong woman who has run into some bad luck along with being thrown into a world she knows nothing about. Lee is the epitome of todays woman, unwilling to take any crap from anyone, confident in herself and unwilling to let anyone tell her what she should be. Add into that a potty mouth and a heart of gold and we have a character that we can all relate to.
The one thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is my “tribe”. The word has been bandied about in all sorts of meme’s and on facebook recently. A tribe, for those disconnected from the google, is the group of people one chooses to surround themselves with. I love my tribe. It consists of both friends and family.
The friends I have are creative, supportive and wonderfully delightful to have conversations with. We have gone from drinking buddies (with many nights at bars dancing and laughing) to having breakfast and coffee dates. I refuse to think of it as getting old. We have changed our circumstances and the way we socialize with one another, but a true friend can be there in the quiet moments as well as the loud obnoxious ones. I am one of the lucky ones, being over forty and still having a wide social group of friends is a blessing. The friends I write about are similar to the ones I have in real life. The conversations they have and the way they get along are very much evident in my everyday life.
The family part is a little more complicated. I love my family, and while I may not have chosen them I enjoy the time I spend with them. It’s very different from the relationships I have with my friends. We joke around, usually at each other’s expense. Making fun of ourselves is a great past time that prevents any of us from getting too big of a head. We are all very different, but it’s like pieces of a puzzle. While each piece is unique they all fit together to create a whole picture.
Mr. Gloria, is the biggest part of my tribe. With him, as with no one else I can be myself. He accepts me, he makes fun of me, he drives me and inspires me. He is my other half.
Thing one and Thing two, are also becoming more and more a part of my tribe. I am incredibly proud of how they turned out, the people they have become. We’ve raised people that we want to be around and there is nothing more perfect than that.
Have you thought about your tribe and what it means to you? How do you define your tribe?
Saturday, 26 December 2015
First things first the update, I got my new artwork for the cover of Liquid Fire (Yaah!) And here it is:
I thought I’d share the blurb for Liquid Fire as well, just so everyone knows what it is about:
Everyone remembers their childhood as being magical, Lee just found out hers really was.
After suffering a run of bad luck, Lee wants nothing more than to lick the wounds of her past and bury herself away from reality, but she discovers a world of magic, a history she never realized existed. Her destined elementals are being held against their will and the only way to find them is to align with the incredibly delectable, unbelievably stubborn Jeremy. They wind down pathways that will take their undeniable chemistry even higher as they move closer to the sinister plot that has stolen her birthright. Together they will find the villain and learn that sometimes fire and water can mix with steamy, hot results.
A spark of flame glows, A sprinkle of rain slows….
Woohoo. I am thrilled with the cover art, Cora, my cover designer did a fantabulous job capturing the spirit of both Lee and Jeremy as well as the overall feel of the book. Liquid Fire’s release date is February 9th 2016, and is available for preorder now. If you preorder from Amazon, you can get a great deal (sale ends on release date so I would definitely recommend preordering it and saving some $$$ or if you really like me you could order more than one copy at the sale price still save some money and help me out in the process.) Here’s the link to my publishers website where you can click on your preferred link to buy as well as read an excerpt.
So besides fighting through the edits and excitement of new book artwork and release dates, I’ve been quite busy. (I did some crafting for Christmas gifts and a reduced version of my usual Christmas baking – I only made 55 dozen cookies this year instead of the usual 120 dozen, I’ve been keeping busy.
After my great talk and reading with the local paranormal book club my muse decided to whack me upside the head with the next book in that series. So I’ve been furiously typing away at Reta’s story. If you read Supernaturally Yours you will remember Reta. She was Nathan’s partner at the Enforcement agency and a werewolf. So far she’s been a lot of fun to write, more than I thought, she has hidden depths that one wouldn’t have expected.
I’ve also just finished up writing what I’ve tentatively titled ‘Three times the Charm’ a novel for the Wiccan Haus series, by Dominique Eastwick. I finished up with the beta readers and all the initial edits and sent that one off to the publishers. Now fingers are crossed with that one as I wait to hear back.
The Christmas celebrations start for me on Xmas eve night. My baby sister and her hubby, along with my bio dad come over for dinner. We had a spread that was way too much food for the seven of us. My brother in law finally got to immigrate to Canada so it was his first Christmas here in something like four years so it was great to have him back. We laughed like hyenas as we played cards against humanity. If you haven’t heard of the game yet, look it up. It is a migraine inducing, laughing all night horrible game for horrible people. And we loved it.
Yesterday I got to spend Christmas with my family, Mr. Gloria, thing one and thing two and I spent the morning together just chilling. Them being teenagers definitely puts a different spin on what Christmas morning looks like. It was more relaxed (hell we slept in until after nine) but the excitement was definitely there. I love seeing their faces filled with joy and happiness. There were no fights no arguments and it was wonderful. Spike (my Cockapoo) even loved his gift. In the afternoon we went to my sister’s madhouse. She has three little ones ranging in age from eight to two, and my brother and his wife brought the newest addition a beautiful little girl who is four months old. Add in my clan and my dad and we have a loud, rambunctious bunch. Dinner was tasty and fun. We laughed and opened gifts and had an ear splittingly, thunderous good time.
After dinner we came home and concluded our celebrations with the annual viewing of Die Hard, the best Christmas movie in existence. Today we head up to Mr. Gloria’s family for the celebrations there. Whew. I get tired just thinking about all the running. I love it though. I love seeing family and friends and catching up.
I sincerely hope that everyone out there had time to spend with those closest to them and took a moment to look up at the sky and be thankful for what we do have. Tomorrow is soon enough to think about what we don’t have or what is missing, for now focus on the good. Focus on the here and now. Love the tribe you surround yourself with and enjoy them and the little moments. They are what counts in the end.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
I’ve come to a realization. I’m a lucky woman. I know it sounds weird to say out loud or think, but it is true. And what you may ask brought this epiphany to me? Pillows. That’s right. Pillows. Last night I crawled into bed incredibly late, back sore from hunching over the computer editing, and way later than I would have liked. As I crawled in I looked at the pillows on our bed, there are 6. (I know that’s a lot of pillows – but we do have a king sized bed and haven’t upgraded to king sized pillows yet) Anyhoo as I studied the pillows I realized there were 5 pillows on my side of the bed and only 1 on my hubby’s. He took the flattest pillow for himself and left the rest on my side so that I could be comfortable. Damn that man. I almost teared up. Over some god forsaken pillows. I’m not normally an overly emotional person (I have been called an emotional mute for my inability to cry at chick flicks) but this did it for me. I was standing there in the dark, looking at the pillows on my bed and that’s the moment I saw what a good man I had.
At my writers group earlier in the night we spoke about how different things would be without the support of our partners. What their negativity can do and how it affects us. Don’t get me wrong constructive criticism is one thing, and it is needed but support through those assessments is so important. We also discussed the creative brain and how it works differently from other mind sets. With artist brain we can so easily become lost in our own imagined failings and see them as indicators that we aren’t good enough. Or that we can’t be the person we want to be. I guess we are more sensitive, more prone to doubts. When we look a piece we’ve created, or written, we see the flaws. The errors, and forget to see the overall piece, the beauty. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, that self-doubt can snowball into a pervasive feeling of failure. A lack of faith.
Believing in yourself is the most important thing, it took me a long time to realize that, but having someone support you unconditionally can help you to get to the point where your faith in yourself is where it needs to be. Mr. Gloria taught me about confidence and shored me up when I didn’t have it in myself. Together we make a pretty darn good team.
So, looking at the pillows got me to thinking, never a good thing at three in the morning let me tell you. But my brain, as always will do what it wants with little input from me. So I started thinking about all the little things Mr. Gloria does for me. He leaves a light on in the bedroom when he goes to sleep so that I don’t trip when I come to bed. He hugs me every day. Every single day. If I am gone somewhere overnight, he calls me just to say he misses me. When I get my migraines, he rubs my head and gets me ice packs and water, sitting with me to offer comfort. He’s worked at his job for the last twenty years. Not a job he hates by any means, but not his dream job that’s for sure. He works there day in and day out and tells me to live my dream. Stay home and write. He encourages me, and he supports me in all of my crazy schemes (except for crafting too much – he does put down his foot when my craft supplies start to take over the house) and he loves the cray cray artist that resides in me. He believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself. And so many other things that writing them all down would be an impossible endeavor. Added to all that is the fact that he’s still the sexiest man I ever wanna see at the end of the day and we have magic together. We still laugh and talk and genuinely like each other.
So while I absolutely hate it when people tell me that “I lucked out” with my husband, children, career any of that; because to me, it’s not luck. I picked a great guy. I raised my kids to be great. And I worked really hard for my career. That’s not luck. That’s hard work and dedication and generally making the right choices. HOWEVER, last night I really looked at him and thought DAMN, I’m one lucky girl. Because not only did I make the right choice, I am also lucky.
In case anyone is feeling really bad I will say that he snores like a truck and purges lots of things that aren’t his just because he thinks we don’t need them anymore (like my makeup, and loaf pans, and a new deep fryer). He’s not perfect, but I’m lucky to call him, mine.
Now that I’ve made everyone uncomfortable with my love letter to my husband I will stop.
What does your significant other / family / friends do to let you know you’re special? Those in our lives are trying to show us with little, seemingly insignificant things that they love us, usually they tend to be tiny things that we won’t pay attention to, like the number of pillows on your side of the bed. Pay attention, I’m sure you’ll find them.
So anyone have any good ones? I’d love to hear them, maybe you could help melt my cold cold heart and allow this emotional mute to open up and cry.
Monday, 14 December 2015
20 Questions with Anna Berkowitz from
Note: Interview takes place just prior to the beginning of Supernaturally Yours.
1. What’s your full name?
Anna Catherine Berkowitz
2. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I would do some baking followed up by cuddling up on my couch with a good book.
3. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
I think I come off as clumsy and shy but after you get to know me you know that I am loyal and hardworking with a good sense of humour. Of course I am still shy and clumsy but I’m a lot more than that.
4. What's your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that'll happen in your life?
I haven’t had a lot of experience with good marriages in my life. My parents were definitely dysfunctional. But from what I saw from my besties parents, I think a good relationship requires communication. Without talking to one another a relationship is doomed to failure. Passion is also incredibly important. As to whether I’ll find that one day, I certainly would like to think so.
5. What are you most proud of about your life?
Ah, sheesh, this is a hard one. I am proud of my ability to adjust to major changes. After I was zombified I could have given up, a lot of people did, but I spent a couple weeks buried in the bottom of a big ole tub of ben and jerrys, then I dusted myself off and figured out how to live my life as it was.
6. What are you most ashamed of in your life?
For me I am ashamed about my lack of education. I wanted so many things and I let others opinions of me affect how I lived my life. Terribly ashamed of my apartment.
7. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
I always love spending time with my bestie, Jenny. But since I can already do that, I assume you mean someone who I can’t. Hmm. Okay I know, Immanuel O’Ryan. Weird answer? Not really, that way I could kick his ass for trying to play God and ending up starting the zombie apocalypse.
8. Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected?
No. I know I haven’t. I keep trying and hoping they’ll come around.
9. What was the moment in your life you are most ashamed of?
I had a one night stand. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not ashamed of the one night stand I am ashamed that I let the dick head’s parting words weigh heavily on me for so long. I let him affect the way I live my life and took so long to get over him.
10. Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done? What would happen if you did it?
I’ve always wanted to learn a craft. Something simple and homey like knitting. I’m ashamed to admit to anyone I don’t know how and to ask for help.
11. What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? What did you learn from it?
Most people would expect me to answer that becoming a zombie was the worst thing that ever happened to me but it wasn’t. The worst thing was discovering how little you knew about people and how closed minded they could be in not accepting me once I was a zombie. Being kicked out of my parent’s home because of my disease and learning that they weren’t willing to accept me as I was.
12. Tell me about your best friend.
Oh my god, Jenny is the best. We’ve known each other since kindergarten and she is the sister I never had. She’s incredibly smart and beautiful. She is everything I wish I was. Bold, she takes life by the balls with no apologies. She accepts me as I am and has never expected me to change who I am.
13. What's the worst thing you've ever done to someone?
I genuinely try to be a good person. I did pull a lot of pranks in high school, some were my idea, others were Jenny’s. I don’t think I should talk about them – the statute of limitations might not be over yet.
14. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Anna Berkowitz, human and zombie. Lovable woman who never let the world beat her down.
15. Describe your ideal mate.
Can I pass? Fine. Ideal mate, someone who accepts me and loves me. Someone passionate and loyal, who can show his emotions and not hide behind a tough façade. He has to be tall, but more important than looks is personality. He can’t be mean, or hostile. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a sense of humour, or a rock hard body.
16. What are you most afraid of?
Besides spiders? I am very afraid of losing control of my urges and turning into a braaaaaiiins zombie.
17. What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
I value the friends who are around me. I value their acceptance and love. Besides that I find time in the kitchen important. Baking and trying new dishes keep me sane.
18. What do you like best about yourself? Least?
Best, I like my sense of humour, physically I like my hair, not many people have this shade of red. Least, I hate that I am clumsy and seem to turn even the simplest of actions into a visit to the e.r. Physically I would like to lose some weight and be more confident.
19. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?
I am ready for a change. Ready to move on and be the person I should have been before I became a zombie. If I could change anything it would be to have made me do this a long time ago. To say to heck with it, this is me and be happy.
20. Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it?
I think I am lying about how I really feel about my parents. Trying to give them the time they need and believing that they will come around. But if I am lying to myself how would I know?
You can buy your copy of Supernaturally Yours at the following locations (or if you are local to me - contact me and I can get a paper copy to you)
also available on iTunes and any other major ebook retailer - just search Supernaturally Yours.
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
The reading at the Paranormal Book Club went so much better than I ever could have expected. I am not much of a public speaker but found the women to be so open and friendly that I felt at home. They had a number of great questions and comments that made me start to get excited about the world of Supernaturally Yours again. It was one of the most gratifying things, hearing the enjoyment and yes, even tears, my book has brought people to. That's the end goal, to have readers who not only read your novel but enjoy it. The one lady told me she was brought to tears and cursing me when I killed off a certain character (don't worry I won't tell you who dies - no spoilers here.) I loved that.
It's one of those things, writing is a solitary experience. I'm alone in my world for so long, trying to coax my muse to giving up the words that I need to express what is happening inside my head. I know how much I like the characters, how much I like the world but there is always a niggling of doubt about whether my words have translated the emotions, the actions and the feel that I am going for. I've written extensively here on my blog before about self doubt and how hard it can be, so I won't go any further on that subject. It was wonderful hearing from a stranger how I touched them enough to bring tears to the forefront.
Now that my crazy couple of weeks are done I can try to focus on Christmas and getting all the multitude of crafts that I have planned done (hehehe, don't tell Mr. Gloria but I made an unfortunate trip to the craft / dollar store and am fully stocked with ideas) wrap my gifts and maybe spend a bit of time with my family.
Although, I might have to start writing, my muse has been reactivated by all the discussion and the last few nights I can barely sleep thinking about my next main gal. Hmm. Too many ideas. Let's see where this takes me...
Thursday, 12 November 2015
So let me tell you a little about where to find me this season....
First - Supernaturally Yours is available on amazon, chapters, kobo, kindle and all your favorite online sources. However if you prefer a physical copy you can order it from amazon or if you are in Stratford it is now being carried at Fanfare Books (Ontario Street) or at The Wee Book and Photo Shop (York Street)
I will be at the following events - showing / signing / selling copies of Supernaturally Yours along with...wait for it....limited physical copies of Becoming Kira!! (You asked so I brought some in for the season!)
November 22nd from 10 - 2 Stratford Outdoor Christmas Market, Market square, Stratford
November 22nd from 12 - 5 S.A.A.S. Stratford and Area, Authors and Artists Symposium
The Local Community Food Center (Erie Street Stratford)
November 25th from 7 - 10 Local Author Showcase, Queens Inn, Ontario St. Stratford
November 28th from 9 - 2 6th Annual Borden Christmas Craft Sale, 122 Ramilies Road,
T-118 Borden Ontario. (Buell Gym Field House)
December 5th from 10 - 2 Christmas Bazaar, 99 Ottawa St. Kitchener, Ontario
As stated I will have copies of my novels as well as my hand illustrated clutch purses - here's a picture of them to give you an idea.
I am also doing a reading / chat with a local book club (which is giving me hives of nervousness - which I will get over)
It's gonna be a crazy season!
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and trying to figure out what direction mine should go in. From what I see you are supposed to find something you are an expert in. I’m paraphrasing the general consensus of what I have read:
“As an author, everyone says not to focus only on writing (because you want readers to follow your blog and not just other writers) so pick a subject and write about it regularly. This should be something that you are passionate about and have an expertise in. Oh and it should somehow relate to what you are writing, you want to mention your writing but not be a constant stream of ‘BUY ME!” posts.”
This is about where I get stuck. What am I an expert in? I have lots of interests, but somehow I can’t see writing a post weekly about my addiction to reality tv shows. I know lots of people write those, and that’s great but I do think it would get boring and not relate at all to my writing. Okay next interest is my kids and family. I’m passionate about it, check. I have an expertise in it, check. Again, could get pretty boring for those who don’t know us and family / teenage drama / kids definitely doesn’t relate to my writing. Hmm. I like crafts, I love reading (I don’t read as much as I would like to when I am writing in order to focus and make sure that my own ideas are coming through). I like eating out (although I have the palate of a ten year old – pretty boring to write about). I like special effects makeup, again not what I write about and I am in no way an expert. I like poetry and have debated posting some of my stuff (it’s a writer thing to do.) I’ve stopped myself, because the style of poetry I tend to write is very different from the style of novels that I write. I tend towards very dark and death filled poems, not exactly the happy ending-cheery-humorous style that my novels are.
And here is where I stay. I can’t find a single idea that seems to fit me, my style of writing and my current level of expertise. No closer to a resolution, to a fit that feels right for me.
I guess what I will do is just continue on, writing an eclectic mix of everything…hey wait maybe that is me. Eclectic. Off the wall, different from the norm, not fitting in the molds of what others have suggested is the ‘right’ way to do it. I’ll just keep being me, writing what comes into my head and sharing with you. Sometimes you might see a post about my latest work, sometimes it might be about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, or a craft I tried, or how perplexed I am by my kids, who knows? It adds a bit of excitement right? Never quite knowing what to expect.
Yep, I think that’s what I’ll do, continue forging on just being me and blogging what comes into my head at any given time. Watch out world this could get scary.
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
It seems every time I sit down to write something comes up. I have done a fair amount of editing and thinking about my work in progress (WIP) which is all well and good, after all being an author is the only profession where you can stare off into space and honestly say you are working. And admittedly those things all needed to be done. But I am ready to get going, aching to delve back into the world I am in the midst of. I find myself unable to sleep at night (I saw three a.m. the last two nights as my muse decided to chat with me, in the guise of my current characters) and I figured out plot lines and new characters came and said hello. Of course all of this brilliance is forgotten in the light of day and I have no idea what phenomenal plans my brain came up with. Argh. It’s enough to almost make me want to return to work. Almost.
I haven’t mentioned too much about my current WIP, I have been asked to write for ‘Wiccan Haus’ a great series that I really enjoy about a supernatural spa and wellness center. It’s a collective world – for those that don’t know what that is let me tell you. The main author, Dominique Eastwick, has created this fabulous world, and all the main characters. She wrote ‘Shifting Hearts’ the first book in the series (and it is a scorcher – Rekkus is ever so yummy) and since then she has opened the world up to other authors. So we write in her world and following her rules. I believe there are 13 novellas currently in the series and each one is as good as the last. So I am writing in her world and loving every minute of it. My main character Michelle, although a troubled young woman who has been through a lot in her life, is a joy to write. She is coming out of her shell and developing, over the course of the book, into a wonderfully in depth strong woman. I won’t say too much more about the story line (wouldn’t want to give anything away after all) but I really am enjoying what is happening.
Today I foraged out of my house, determined to get some stuff done and thinking if I followed old paths, the way I’ve always written, where the television, the dishes, the dog and a million other things weren’t distractions, I’d get more done. I get to the coffee shop (my second choice since my usual haunt was packed with people and absolutely no parking was to be found), and find myself overwhelmed by the humanity. The people moving around, yelling, talking and laughing. I’ve been so alone lately that this is making my spidey senses go crazy. I can’t stop looking at everyone and wondering what they are doing? Why they are so loud? Who they are? That and running into five people who knew me and had to say hello didn’t help matters. Add to that fact that I forgot my pen (without which I cannot edit) and todays visit to the big bad world is a lost cause.
I can’t focus, I can’t edit, damn. But my tea is warm and I didn’t have to make the cinnamon bun I just ate. Never fear my lovelies I will soldier on and find a way to focus and write.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Along with being a dreamer I have the curse of being a realist. When we opened our doors it was with a very clear and precise plan. I had certain goals that had to be met by year five or it was time to pack it in. Unfortunately those goals weren't realized and so I had to say goodbye. I was lucky enough to find people to take over for me and carry on my vision while I step away from what has been my entire life for five years. I hope that the new people can make their goals and continue the good work that has been started with my store.
So it's been a very bittersweet time for me. Saying goodbye to a dream is never an easy thing. Matter of fact it's downright horrible. I've shed a lot of tears and had to come to terms with my failure. Even though many people tell me I didn't fail, it's hard to shake that image from my head. That's the bitter part, the sweet part is that it may continue on and be what I always wanted The Magic Box to be.
I've officially been unemployed for the last week (although lady of leisure sounds so much better). And after five years with only two weeks off I decided to take a wee bit of time to myself and just chill on the couch watching television and cleaning up, taking care of my kids - you know doing the everyday thing. I gave myself some time to get over this change. I believe I have come to terms with what happened and am ready to move on. I must say I am also incredibly humbled by my wonderful husband. Since closing the store he said take some time off. Don't worry about anything. We will get by. Take the time to figure out who you really are. Write, draw, watch tv and eat bon bons, just be happy. I hate it when people say how lucky I am to have gotten a husband like this but it is so true. I lucked out the day he walked into my life.
I've had other dreams over the last years and many of them are coming true. Being an author is one that I have thought out of reach - and that one is happening. I know it's time to move on, to build what I have started, to be the person maybe I was always meant to be (if only I'd had the confidence to try earlier). And so I will continue on my journey. Discovering me, learning about who I need to be. I'm ready to continue and I will fight on.
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
So, many of you know I have spent the last year working diligently on a new series, the first book is tentatively titled "Liquid Fire" This was a labour of love. The characters were very different from Anna in Supernaturally Yours but I really loved delving into the world my mind created. You may also know that my first publisher, Musa, unfortunately closed their doors back in February. So when I finished Liquid Fire I knew I would be shopping around and looking for a new publisher.
I am thrilled to announce that Liquid Fire has been picked up for publication by Tirgearr Publishing. Yaah! If you haven't had a chance to check them out slide over to their website http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/ and see what they have to offer. I am terribly excited to delve into editing and working with a new (to me) publishing house.
If you want to know more about Liquid Fire and that world it will introduce...you'll have to wait. As I head further into editing you'll get sneak peaks and so on. So be patient my pretties it will come!
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Today I had a phone book delivered. I don’t remember the last time I used an actual phone book. If I need a number I Google it or for businesses I will often use Facebook to search them out.
Twenty five years ago the internet didn’t even exist. And for the first ten years it was mostly local chat rooms and only the most geeky accessed it on a regular basis. Who remembers the sound of dial up internet? (You’re now hearing it in your head aren’t you?) Google is only seventeen. (And yes, I used Google to look up those numbers)
I got my first computer as a wedding gift twenty years ago. And boy was it pretty awesome. I was totally up on all the newest tech. I had used computers in high school and college but this was one IN my house! Crazy.
In a mere twenty years we as a society have changed so drastically to now having multiple lap tops, ereaders, Xboxes, PlayStations, GPS's and smart phones (even children – my niece has a classmate who has an iPhone – she’s in grade one) I’m not intending to get into any discussion on whether this is a good or bad thing for our society in general. It’s just such a stark change.
Things that have disappeared or are slowly fading into obscurity in the last 25 years
-maps (that trusty folded sheet that never went back to its original format and your location was ALWAYS on the crease)
-classified ads in your local paper. (Need a job? Workopolis or going direct to the job bank. Need to buy or sell and item? Kijiji or garage sale groups on Facebook)
-rotary phones (the ones where you would screw up the LAST number and have to start over)
-Door to door salesman who sold ACTUAL products and weren’t a scam artist trying to get you to switch your hydro, phone etc. These were actual professional men who sold vacuums, pots and pans, encyclopedias, knife sets, or Watkins (cleaning products)
-VCR’s those trusty machines that we RENTED videos to watch on.
-paying for things with cheques. Writing a cheque to pay rent or the phone bill before you put it in the mail to send it off. Now it’s all instant with online or telebanking or even paying at the bank. I don’t remember the last time I used a cheque for personal use.
-Pen pals and letter writing in general. I think this is one of the saddest things. I still love getting an actual letter in the mail. Some of my greatest moments are lying on the couch writing letters to my pen pal. My confidant. And getting a letter from her was amazing.
-not knowing who was on the phone (no call display back in the day) we had to take the risk of it being a salesman
-Tape decks, CD’s, records etc. Who needs them when you can download the newest music from iTunes? Digital music so convenient that it ate up the competition.
-Dictionaries (along the same vein as the encyclopedia) we can use Google as a thesaurus and to look up spelling or meaning.
-Floppy drives (now we use the cloud for all our backups)
So now that I am feeling incredibly old and obsolete I shall go cry in the basement.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
I debated what style of books to write and it comes down to the fact that I want people to read my books and be happy. To enjoy without worry for a little while. To let their real lives drift away and escape into my book. And it is an escape – a welcome escape. I don’t want them to have to take months to read what I’ve written because it is so deep and life altering. Not that there is anything wrong with that – just not all the time. It’s like I really like ice cream. But would I want to eat ice cream for every meal over the next twenty years? No, sometimes I will want a cake or pie (because pie rocks). The point I am trying to make is that there is nothing wrong with diversifying in the styles that you read.
The other thing I want to say to the dissenter who doesn’t like romance is to ask if they’ve read any romance books in the last twenty or thirty years? Romance now has so many sub genres with plot lines like you wouldn’t believe. Romance can come in suspense, fantasy, horror, contemporary, historical even dystopian and so many more. Every genre that lives outside of romance now lives inside romance. Also these aren’t your mother’s romance books. Typically you won’t find bodice ripping virgins who swoon at her first kiss. They can be some of the highest quality well-written books you’ve experienced.
That being said with the advent of self-publishing you will find some…not so well-written, not so well thought out or plotted books. But I believe that is true for all genres now. You may want to take the time to read the samples and reviews before purchasing. But honestly I have found some new favourite authors who are self-published so don’t let that throw you off.
So give a happy ending a chance, you may find yourself surprised by how it makes you feel.
Friday, 10 July 2015
But here I am again words flowing and ready to be heard.
At this point I've been working on marketing Supernaturally Yours. Doing book signings and trying to build an online presense via facebook and twitter. The book signings have went well and I intend on continuing them while the online presense is a bit more difficult. I keep trying and will continue my efforts to see what effect they have.
The response from readers has been great, I really love the feedback it puts a fire under my ass to keep working on my current WIP (work in progress) And what is it I am working on? Well, I finished up my second novel, tentatively titled "Liquid Fire" and it is currently at publishers waiting on a yeah or nay. Liquid Fire is a stand alone novel but is intended as part of a trilogy. With the second novel in the series "North Wind" about 1/4 of the way written right now...
For those who might be interested here's the rough copy of the blurb for Liquid Fire -
Everyone remembers their childhood as being magical. Lee just found out hers really was.
After suffering a run of bad luck, Lee wants nothing more than to lick the wounds of her past and bury herself away from reality, but she discovers a world of magic, a history she never realized existed. Her destined elementals are being held against their will and the only way to find them is to align with the incredibly delectable, unbelievably stubborn Jeremy. They wind down pathways that will take their undeniable chemistry even higher as they move closer to the sinister plot that has stolen her birthright. Together they will find the villian and learn that sometimes fire and water can mix with steamy, hot results.
A spark of flame glows. A sprinkle of rain slows.
Besides slaving away at my computer I've been coming to terms with the fact that my son (aka Thing 1) is turning eighteen next month and we are now in talks with colleges and plans for the future. While on one hand I am so incredibly proud of him, on the other I am terrified. I have a year before he moves out (he is doing a victory lap at high school to get some additional credits) and already I am a mess. I am going to be that mother that is freaking out and calling constantly and crying on a daily basis. (I also can't believe I am now old enough to have a college aged son but that is another post) Without a doubt I love having kids old enough to converse with and both my children are intelligent thoughtful creatures. We can now talk politics (Thing 1 is more versed and wants to talk politics a lot more than I do) about books, movies and life in general. I love that part. I hate the part that says my kids will move away from me. ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AWAY FROM ME!!! I hate that I won't be able to see and talk to them, that we may drift apart.
I have issues. My closest sibling moved across the country and we went from being closer than anyone could believe possible(even sharing a house as adults and partying together all the time) he was my best friend. Now I see him for a day or two once every year or two. One measly day. And talking on the phone three times a year tops. I lost something so important to me and I can never get it back and it feels like it could happen again with Thing 1.
Then there's the fact that I have no one I can talk to. My kids are older than all my friends children and no one is at this stage in their lives yet. My mother (who experienced me moving away from home at the same age - only a three hour drive - but at the time it was the farthest any of our family had lived from home) well she passed away eleven years ago. It doesn't seem to ever get easier. There are always questions I want to ask "how do I deal with..." "What would you do...." and so on.
Then there's Mr Gloria who is the quintessential duck (nothing sticks to his back) and all he does is smile and tell me it will all be okay. He doesn't worry. He doesn't panic. He just lets things go. With an easy going smile and a laugh. It's enough to make me want to throat punch him with a brick, or maybe a cadillac.
So I've been struggling with the fact that Thing 1 is growing up. In some ways I want to applaud him and hug him and hold him tight. I want time to reverse so I can wrap him in bubble wrap and protect him from the big bad world. Maybe I could lock him in the basement and refuse to let him leave...but no that's an episode of Criminal Minds waiting to happen. I guess I will do what mothers have done for time immemorial: suck it up.
Let him go. Support him. Love him and let him live his own life.
Damn. I hate it when common sense prevails over my emotional state.
Thursday, 12 March 2015
There has been so much going on in the last month it has been crazy!
Let's start with the good stuff - I've been accepted as a professional at comicon toronto. March 20-22 I'll have a table all set up with goodies and paperbacks available. Here's a link http://www.comicontoronto.com/guests/gloria-bishop/
So excited and nervous all wrapped up in a bundle of me.
The bad stuff. At the end of February my publisher had to close it's doors. A terribly sad loss for the publishing world as they were some of the best people I've had the pleasure of dealing with in a long time. So with comicon on the fast approaching horizon I rushed and got supernaturally yours self published. It's still available on all your favorite platforms (ebook everywhere and paperback in selected stores around stratford and online through amazon) with new cover art (that I slaved over myself). Prices stayed the same.
Also I changed the Facebook stuff. I'm just your everyday girl and having a fan page still seemed too weird for me so I've made my main page my page. Friend me I promise I'll accept. I'd rather have friends than fans any day of the week. Find me at www.facebook.com/gloriabishopauthor
My novella Becoming Kira is also now available in ebook format. It's a contemporary lighthearted romance about finding love in a modern age.
I've also been crazily working on editing my next fantasy romance Liquid Fire and it should be heading out to publishers soon.
Crazy busy! Crazy excited!
So with that I'll be heading to bed hoping to see a bunch of you at comicon!
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
A new regular post I'd like to call 'What am I reading?' Today - Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick
You would think that meant I could take a breather wouldn't you? Not so. My brain is already working on plotting out the next two novels (which are follow ups to the nanowrimo novel)
I have also been going crazy with the lack of time to read. So I have made time. This is the moment that I realized just how much I love my kobo. While at the gym (where I am trying once more to become healthier and in better shape) anyhoo, I can set the font to large and read away. Just this week I ended up spending double the amount of time on the eliptical than normal, and the time just flew by since I was reading. Yaah for multi tasking. Love it.
What have I been reading you ask? Well let me tell you, I just finished a novel by Dominique Eastwick. It's called Shifting Hearts and is part of the Wiccan Haus series available through Musa Publishing, it is a novella, at only 21500 words it is a quick, hot read. I am not a reviewer, nor do I profess to be one, keep that in mind. I know what I like and what I don't. And I liked this book.
Dana is a relatable character (although I could have used a touch more character development - that being said since it is a novella the amount we get to know her is probably suffice) She is coming back from being stood up at the altar and is escaping reality by heading to a mysterious spa with her bestie. The spa sounds like just the place we all need to go to, so that we can regroup after life throws us curveballs. But it does have twists of it's own. The Wiccan Haus spa is a haven not only to those humans who need emotional healing and recovery but also to the multitude of supernatural creatures that also need to have some relaxing down time.
The hero of the story is totally lickable, and very much the alpha male. He is a tough as nails supernatural creature and the chemistry between Dana and Rekkus jumps off the page. Rekkus has problems of his own and to some degree fights the attraction between the two of them. His story is heart breaking, and together the two damaged individuals work to heal each other.
Overall Shifting Hearts is a steamy, hot, completely fun read. It introduces the reader to the Wiccan Haus world (where a number of novellas by a variety of authors take place)in a fun, fast and interesting way.
I recommend giving it a read. I think you'll enjoy.
In case you are interested here's the link:
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Wow, it's been a crazy ride for me. Today is the seventh day of 2015. On the second my grandpa died as a result of a car accident. Grandpa was older, he'd be near 90, but he wasn't sick. It was a sudden death. I hadn't seen him for a number of years, since life had gotten in the way. I have so many memories of him from when I was a child. Good memories that only serve to sadden me now.
My father, who lives with me, was rushed to the hospital on the fourth. He had a liver transplant five years ago and now has a blood infection and liver stones, surgery is scheduled for today.
Last night on the sixth, my aunt passed away. We hadn't heard about her being sick until about two weeks ago and then it just progressed from there. My aunt was always smiling and laughing, it's unfathomable to me that she is gone.
Add to the above the fact that in nine days it's the anniversary of my mom's death - which is enough to normally put me in a state of depression.
I'm just in a state of shock. What the hell is going on in my life? I know it's not about me, but I do wonder what I did to end up with this as my 'new, fresh start'- Was I too happy? Too proud? Too comfortable? What? I guess today is my day to be angry. To not understand. To wonder why.
I'm not writing this post looking for sympathy. The one thing everything has made me do is hug my family. Thing 1 and thing 2, even though they are teenagers, have been the recipients of my emotional fallout. Mr. Gloria is feeling smothered, I don't want to let any of them go. I want them within my sight at all times. But that's not how life works. I have to give them some space, even if it tears me apart.
The one thing I will leave you with is a reminder to hug your loved ones. I know that's been said a million times before, but it is true. Don't put off the visit, or phone call. Let them know how much they mean to you.