I’m putting on my retail cap to tell you that from now through April 30, 2014 (that’s a Wednesday), the Kindle version of The Flower Bowl Spell is only 99 cents. That’s 2 bucks off the regular price, a 67% discount. What a deal! So tell your friends to buy up and enjoy the wonders of Wiccan Memphis Zhang and her crazy supporting cast members.
Author Olivia Bolerwriting is fun
I’m happy to report that during the recent Kindle Free Promo last week, almost 3,200 copies of The Flower Bowl Spell were downloaded! Not all of these were from the United States and UK, although those were the two biggest supporters of this little adventure. What’s exciting is the fact there has been an uptick in “real” sales of the e-book version post-promo, not a huge amount, but a bigger surge than I’ve seen in many months.
Another exciting tidbit is that there’s a new review of the book on Underground Book Reviews, an online magazine written for and by indie authors. It’s always nice when someone approaches you about running a review or interview about your book, rather than chasing down the opportunities. I want to thank Candi Sary for shining a light on TFBS. I understand the magazine is pretty selective about the reviews they publish, and only posts one per week, so their site is nice and uncluttered. Check out Candi’s own award-winning novel, Black Crow White Lie, “the story of young Carson Calley who discovers he has the curious ability to heal people.”
Happy reading…and a Happy Monday to you as well.
Just a quick post to let you know that today is the first day of a 5-day promotion. Download a free copy of The Flower Bowl Spell to your Kindle. Already, the book has reached the #5 spot in the category of Free Books about Witches or Wizards, and #442 overall! That is pretty exciting. Thanks to those who’ve downloaded a copy, and I hope you like it enough to leave feedback on Goodreads, on Amazon, or wherever you may roam.
Oh blog, I did not mean to forsake you. Simply, I have been busy avoiding you. Do I offend?
Whine time: Busy with freelance work, busy (sometimes, not often enough) writing or editing “real” work, family emergency, shepherding our 25-year-old cat to his next plane of existence, PTA, kids, blah blah blah.
But lately: I might have a piece or two in a new anthology due out in the near future. Exciting! Possibly a poem and/or a personal essay-story-memoir thing. More details soon…
I might edit a friend’s picture book. (We’ll see. It’s nice to be asked.)
A 6th grader might interview me for a school assignment as I wear my Published Author hat…
The Flower Bowl Spell will soon be featured on the awesome online magazine Underground Book Reviews. I am too excited! They only review one book a week, so, whether it winds up being a positive review or a critical one, it’s nice to know they’re selective.
Seems more folks are checking out my blog, including those around the proverbial water cooler. One person asked me about progress on my latest project (which feels like a cracking of the whip), and another asked for advice about publishing his personal story with the help of a professional author. (It’s a juicy one. The story, not the author.) All of this means I need to be more on the ball with ye olde blogge.
And…here I am, rolling it along.
Happy Daylight Savings, folks! Must hup-two.
December 31 has always been kind of a big deal in my family. Not only is it the last day of the year—it’s also my mother’s birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!
My mother doesn’t accept gifts anymore—her rule. She has enough “material possessions.” So as my nonmaterial gift to both of us, I’m making a slight change to The Flower Bowl Spell publishing model.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select
For the next 90 days, the e-book will be available exclusively on Amazon as part of their KDP Select Program. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can check out the book and add it to your library for free. There are other promotions through this program that I’ll be doing in the near future post-holidays (read: when my kids are back in school and I can concentrate!), like a Kindle Countdown Deal and a Free Book Promotion Deal. More details on that soonish.
If you have a print copy of The Flower Bowl Spell that you purchased from Amazon, then you can get a digital copy of the book for the discount price of 99 cents. Pretty sweet, right? The regular price of the e-book is already fairly low—$2.99—but who doesn’t like to save money wherever they can? I know I do.
But What About Non-Kindle Copies?
Already own a copy of the e-book through iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.? Fear not—your copy is safe. I’m trying this KDP Select dealio out for 90 days to see if I can drum up some sales of the book, and then I’ll likely go back to selling it through other outlets.
So, that’s my New Year’s news. Have a very happy 2014, whether it’s crazy or tame, your birthday or not. No matter what you do, be safe.
There really are no new ideas. I was completely aware of this ten years ago when I first decided to retell Sense and Sensibility in a modern setting. Borrowing as my model the fabuloso movie Clueless, I wrote it as a screenplay. A couple of years ago, I took that screenplay and transformed it into a novel during Nanowrimo. Two years and three drafts later, I finally felt ready to share my Austen homage with some friends. You see, these things take time, at least for me.
Over the summer, I came across a TV movie, Scents and Sensibility (yup, I’m pretty sure it was on the Lifetime channel), a modern interp of S&S with a Ponzi-scheme twist. Last month, I found an adorable board book that I just had to have, and I actually use it as a writing tool!
Just now, I read about Joanna Trollope‘s new version of the novel, part of HarperCollins’ new Austen series, in which established authors including Curtis Sittenfeld (Pride and Prejudice) and Alexander McCall Smith (Emma) re-imagine her works.
When I finally publish my version of the Dashwood sisters, don’t expect an exact retelling. That was never my intent. I’m going more for inspiration, the way Helen Fielding used a germ Pride and Prejudice to give Bridget Jones’s Diary some scaffolding. I’ve renamed characters, gotten rid of some, added others, and basically moved the furniture around Norland Park and Barton Cottage to suit my 21st century story-telling needs.
Do you think Jane would have minded much?
Yesterday was kind of a landmark in the world of me. I finished a draft of my latest novel that seemed good enough to show someone other than my imaginary friend who follows me around all day. (Her opinion is one I don’t really trust—sometimes she’s like a hype man, other times…) Anyway, this is, I’d say, the fourth draft of this book I’ve been tinkering with on and off—mostly off—for ten years. It’s about two sisters who run a tearoom and their ups and downs in the romance department. I sent it off to my friend whose judgment I actually do trust—always important to have one of those.
Now I’m kind of dangling here. What should I do next? Well, it just so happens that tomorrow is the start of Nanowrimo. Honestly, I thought I’d miss it this year, that I would still be caught in the happy cloud of Nora and Rainey, the protagonists of the tearoom novel. So, I’m a tad thrown off to be at loose ends. There are plenty of them hanging about just begging to be tied up—like that prequel to The Flower Bowl Spell I’ve talked about. I do believe it’s time to give that a dusting off, just in time for November’s 50,000-word goal. Who’s with me? My Nano handle is livyink. Hope to see you there!
Oh, and have a happy and safe Halloween—and by safe, I mean, don’t pig out on too much candy. It’ll cause a rash.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished reading The Red House by Mark Haddon, known for his bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I picked up his most recent novel at the library, sold on it by the opening paragraph:
“Cooling towers and sewage farms. Finstock, Charlbury, Ascott-under-Wychwood. Seventy miles per house, the train unzips the fields. Two gun-gray lines beside the river’s meander. Flashes of sun on the hammered metal. Something of steam about it, even now. Hogwarts and Adlestrop. The night mail crossing the border, Cheyenne sweeping down from the ridge. Delta blues from the boxcar. Somewhere, those secret points that might just switch and send you curving into a world of uniformed porters and great-aunts and summers at the lake.”
Really, it was that phrase: the train unzips the fields…Absolutely lovely and evocative and true. I’ve been on that train, seen that very thing from the window, that journey through the unknown. That line was the ticket that opened up this world. That’s what good writing should do.
The story, told from multiple points of view, often reads like poetry. Sometimes you don’t know whose thoughts you’re in…and it doesn’t really matter. The atmosphere of an English family holiday has surprising elements of coziness, even among the family discord and each individuals’ personal dramas. A reader can happily get lost in Haddon’s universe for a while.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This novel had everything I look for in a book—smart, likable, flawed characters; an engaging plot; ideas to convey that are more than just “he likes me, she hates me, the world sucks”; fantastic writing; and a little something extra that keeps you turning pages. What’s it called? That ineffable IT. I got the chuckles—had to explain myself to my husband when I woke him up at night and to friends at Birch Lake where we hung out last week. Laughing out loud—always a good thing.
A bonus was Semple’s The New Yorker “Shouts & Murmurs” piece included at the end of the book. It’s about a PC preschool teacher trying to set up a Day of the Dead altar…Let’s just say, if you don’t have young children or you do have a certain earnestness, perhaps you won’t think it as hilarious as I do…Oh heck, give it a try.