Wednesday, June 27, 2018

You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover...But You Will

1 week ago I submitted a cover art proposal to the artists at This is a huge thing for me. It's exciting because it just brings everything even closer to completion. A cover is something visual I can associate with my book. It's what everyone who picks it up or glances at it while shopping online will see. It's the first thing they'll see. It's what's going to make them decide to glance the back blurb or move on. 

"But AJ!" You say, "You were an art student! You can design you own cover!" 

You have a fair point. I did go to art school. I survived 4 years of it and emerged with a piece of paper saying I can draw pretty pictures. And I can. I'm particularly fond of my character sketches and landscapes. 

BUT! Cover art is not illustration. It's graphic design. And I suck at graphic design.

I had my teacher tell me as much as I fumbled through her class back in 2003. Look lady, I didn't want to take your class, the goddamn list of prerequisites made me.

Point is, while yes, it would be cool to make my own cover, I am nowhere near skilled enough to do it. On top of that, I have a day job, kids, ragged, dying shreds of sanity to cling know, the usual.

So I hired a professional. I can't wait to see what they come up with. Don't touch that dial.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Taste of Things to Come

With publication looming ever closer, and the world being a giant, flaming ball of shit, I've decided to take a break from doom and gloom and post the back cover blurb of Paige's Story for the masses to check out. Read on and enjoy!

Also, if Paige's Story sounds like something you or someone you know might enjoy, spread the word!

When an explosion levels a secret lab in the dead of night, an experimental computer virus is unleashed on the world invading artificially intelligent workers and soldiers. Once infected, these synthetic humans experience 1 of 2 side-effects: Sentience or Corruption.

30 years later, the military and governments of the world are still struggling to cope with the shock. Synthetics are met with distrust by most, subjugation by some, and acceptance at arms-length by the rest.

To further study the rising sentience in the world’s robotic population, the military has recruited the best and brightest scientific minds to research this mysterious virus. Unfortunately for 13-year-old Paige Bryan, her parents are 2 of those minds chosen, and she finds herself moving to Fort Thomas - a military base full of sentient machines.

When soldiers start to malfunction and a strange little girl arrives, Paige and the scrappers of Ft. Thomas soon find themselves swept up in a mystery that, left unsolved, may mean the end of the already fragile peace between humans and synthetics.

Monday, June 18, 2018

In Case of Panic Attack Break Glass

I had a panic attack today. The Day Job is getting worse and has gone from something I really enjoyed to something I dread thanks to management changes, company downsizing etc... I don't really want to get into it. Regardless, it's put a huge amount of stress on me and in the last 6 months I've had 3 panic attacks. That's astronomical for me, especially since I'm on medication to keep them under control. 

Thing is, people don't know how to react to someone having a panic attack. It freaks them out. I get it. It is an unsettling thing to see. Now I can't speak for everyone, but here's a helpful guide for when I have a panic attack.

In case of a panic attack:

1) Do not ask why I'm freaking out. My brain is a herd of rabid velociraptors on cocaine right now. Chances are I don't know why. Just accept that I am and move forward.

2) Find a cat.

3) If a cat can't be found, offer me some water. Hydration is important.

4) A cat would be nice.

5) Empathize. If you know how it feels to be in my shoes, tell me. It'll make me feel like less of a loser... Because, trust me, I feel like a loser right now. If you don't know how it feels, sympathize. Say something encouraging like "That looks like it sucks. Don't worry, I still like you."

6) Are you sure there aren't any cats nearby? Have you looked?

7) Yes I'm doing weird breathing exercises and probably tensing and relaxing my hands. Let me do this. It helps.

8) Cats have gone extinct and no one has told me, haven't they.

9) I'm probably crying some. Don't judge. Like I said, I already feel like a huge loser.

10) Okay, I'll settle for a dog.

11) Once the episode has passed I will be very tired and likely have a headache. Offering ibuprofen or something like it is appreciated.

This has been a public service announcement.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

And the List Shortens. (sorry, I'm running low on Jenkins puns)

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm almost done.

No, Frodo, I said almost done.

Don't get salty, Baggins. Go eat a second breakfast.

I sent Paige's Story off to my technical editor 2 days ago and now I'm prepping my cover art proposal. Once all the I's are confirmed dotted and T's confirmed crossed, it'll be up to Damonza to do the cover and format it.

After that... well, it's go time.

I'm still going with Amazon Kindle Direct publishing. And once it's available, you bet Odin's thundering asshole I'll be spamming everyone with the sales page.

I'm excited and nervous, mostly excited. Paige's story has been in my head since I was 15, maybe younger. It's been started, stopped and started again more times than I care to count. And now, here it is... getting a nice polish and shine and, more importantly, being presented to the world at large.

I may puke.

Pour me a drink.

In the meantime, the husband and I will be getting rewards together for all the supporters of my Go Fund Me and getting a decent author photo taken. (I personally like my pic here or the one of me and the pizza over on Twitter and Facebook)

There are so many people I need to thank. My donors, my beta readers, my editors, my friend Gabriel Beyers for his loads of advice (and for sneaking me free HDMI cables back when we both worked at Comcast...but that's neither here nor there), Peter Clines for his words of encouragement, my husband Ben for his years of working with me and helping me bring this to fruition. He's the best writing buddy ever. My friend and fellow author Paige Gray; our Tuesday coffee and book sessions are always motivational. And my Mom, because she is technically the one responsible for all this.

Anyway, I'm super excited to be nearing the end of my first publication.