From today until Thanksgiving, ‘Final Statements’ is free on Amazon

finalstatementsHello everyone!

Thanksgiving is coming up in the U.S., and to celebrate, I’m offering my short story, Final Statements for free on Amazon, from today until Wednesday, the day when we will all be cooking, traveling, or frantically screaming that company is coming and why isn’t this house clean already.

Just go to the link for the free short story. (It is an e-book, so you will need a reader or an app to read it.)

After all, Thanksgiving is a family holiday, and Final Statements is a story about family. Maybe not a great family, but hey, let’s celebrate all families.

 

Read ‘Undertow’ for free on your Kindle this week

undertowHello everyone. Happy Easter week! To celebrate the alleged start of spring, I’m making my short story “Undertow” free on Amazon this week.

The promotion starts tomorrow, March 31, and ends Saturday, April 4.

What’s the story about? It’s a supernatural horror story about a young woman who falls in love with the ocean. But then the ocean loves her back, and that’s kind of a problem. There are mythological creatures in it, and it’s creepy. But then, most of my fiction is on the creepy side. It’s part of my charm.

If you like supernatural horror, please check it out. Here is the link.

Undertow: the first piece in my short story experiment.

undertowSome things take me a while.

More than a year ago, I decided to release some of my previously-published short stories electronically on Amazon. So I waited for an evening when my husband was out, then climbed into the bathtub with a handful of seashells, a tube of red food coloring and a camera, because that’s what committed authors do.

Then I asked people to vote on the bloody seashell photos on my Facebook page. And then I started working on the short story itself, which was published in 2003 by a journal, but which I wanted to tweak.

I ended up tweaking it a lot. It took me a good year, and I didn’t post much about it, but I’m happy to announce that it’s done, the cover art is complete and the story itself is finally posted on Amazon.

Thank you to everyone who voted on the images last year. I look forward to my next project, which will probably involve me taking photos of rusty tools in a dark basement with just a flashlight as a light source.

 

A list of the links that have been posted to The Eagle and the Arrow, so far.

The Eagle and the Arrow is released today! Links to the book are trickling in.

Here are the links that have been posted so far:

The e-book, on Amazon

The paperback on Amazon

And let us not neglect Barnes & Noble, which has the e-book on NOOK

The e-book on Smashwords.

I’m waiting for the publisher’s website to post the book as well. Also, check it out on Goodreads (another giveaway – this time of The Eagle & The Arrow –  is happening soon.)

I want five bad reviews this summer

Five bad reviews of either of my books from people I don’t know. That’s my goal for this summer. I told my husband this last week and he looked at me as if I’d sprouted an arm from the top of my head.

I do have a good reason for wanting five bad reviews: if I don’t get any bad reviews, not enough people are reading the book.

This doesn’t mean I’m eager to read a bad review of The Eagle and The Arrow. And it doesn’t mean that I want more terrible reviews than good ones. No one likes a bad review. But no bad reviews are almost as bad as no good reviews, I think, because that means only my friends are reading it. Though I treasure my friends and want them to read my work, I also want to reach readers of all kinds.

And if I reach a wide enough group of readers, I will find the haters. Not everyone is going to love my work, I know this. I mean, look at Amazon. There are people, alive and dead, who hate The Great Gatsby, Pride & Prejudice and The Fellowship of the Ring, so there are definitely people around who will hate my work. This summer, I want to get my book into enough hands that I find some of them.

My Kindle DX’s breakdown will be just like the greatest literary disaster in history, as far as I’m concerned.

broken kindle dx

Me: My Kindle! It’s dead! Nooo! No! This is terrible. This is like the Library of Alexandria burning down all over again. Oh. Wait. False alarm. It’s not dead. it just passed out again.
Husband: Did you just compare your Kindle to The Library of Alexandria? That’s hyperbole.
Me: Oh really. How do you know what was in the Library of Alexandria?

He doesn’t, because it burned down. The Library of Alexandria totally could have contained The Hunger Games trilogy, every Robert Louis Stevenson book ever written, the proofs of my own book and a freshly-ordered copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern. Sure it could have. We will never know. So basically my husband is just making guesses here.

Death is the New Sleep

No kidding.

This is a certainty though: Kindle DX is well on its way to its demise. It sleeps far too much these days. And there are times, like tonight, when I can’t wake it up without a fight. And one of these days, I won’t be able to wake it up at all.

This bothers me because I can’t get a replacement DX; Amazon isn’t making them anymore. And because I love my DX. It’s got my library on it. I need it.

The poor thing, though, was an early model and it just wants to die. It is still chugging along, but it’s slowly decaying like a biter in The Walking Dead. First the power cord disintegrated because it was allergic to sunlight (Amazon was nice enough to replace that). Then the five-way mouse split down the center. (But we’re still using it.) Now the software appears to be on the fritz.

I get that it’s probably time for a new Kindle, but I don’t want another Kindle. I’m emotional about this reader in the way I’m not about laptops and cell phones. This Kindle has been my book for hundreds of novels. It’s been A Thousand Acres. It’s been Anna Karenina. It’s been The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s been a graphic novel, twice. And dammit, I was planning on it being The Night Circus right about now.

Technology is temporary, but books are forever, right?

Except that they aren’t. Because well, the Library of Alexandria.

Fake blood & fro-yo: this is what happens when I try to self-publish.

denying the sea, ebook

Like House of Cards promo art, but with a mollusk.

So this evening was my husband’s night out with the boys, and as usual, when he left the house looked normal and I was full of project ideas.

When he came home, there was sand and fake blood all over the bathroom, the house was a disaster, and I was holed up in my office with a carton of fro-yo. For art.

It’s a testament to either my husband’s character or to my insanity that he didn’t bat an eye. In fact, he didn’t even ask why the bathroom looked like Quentin Tarantino had just filmed a scene there. He’s that used to this kind of thing.

But you might want to know, so I’ll tell you.
I recently got the bright idea to self-publish two already-published stories with Amazon’s Kindle Direct. The stories are not doing me any good just sitting around in my computer, so why not?

Apparently, however, you need to have a cover for such things. Since I probably won’t make enough money off these stories to cover the cost of a graphic artist, I thought I’d try to come up with a cover myself.

One of the stories is about a killer sea god. (Thus the fake blood and sea shells.) The other story is about a creepy lady who conveniently has an ice cream addiction. (Thus the half a carton of frozen yogurt I consumed.)

The result of my photo shoot? A bathroom that looks like a triple homicide was committed in it, a blown diet and a few okayish photos (but not of the fro-yo, because I ate most of that.) I think the photo in this post is probably the best. It doesn’t show how my fingers are now dyed the color of Mikhail Gorbachev’s birthmark.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the short stories, but at the moment, I’m not sure when they will  be coming out. This is mostly because of the cover art. Despite the fact that the bathtub might now be permanently pink, I still think I need better photos.

Might it be a good idea to hire an artist? It might. But only if that artist is willing to work for fro-yo.

In which I beg for stars.

Not stars, as in masses of incandescent gases. Stars as in Amazon and Goodreads reviews.

Recently I’ve heard from a few fellow authors who have asked me and other readers to post reviews to the Internet. It struck me that I should probably be doing that, rather than just raving to them privately. Also, it struck me that I should ask my readers to do the same.

So, if you’ve read Beware the Hawk and liked it* please consider heading on over to my Amazon and Goodreads pages and rating it. Or even write a review. Especially write a review. My editor and publisher** at Vagabondage Press would love that, and I would too.

 

*or even if you didn’t. As a journalist, I’m a fan of free speech. Even though some free speech makes me cry.
** or as I like to think of them, the “evil overladies.”

Virtual book signing

News!

The official release date was tomorrow, but I’m told that my  book, Beware the Hawk, is already available on Amazon.*  There will still be a lot of hubbub tomorrow – I’m starting my blog tour over at WordVagabond and the book will be available at Vagabondage Press (no relation), but this is like a soft opening.

Signing Pen

A mentor gave me this pen to use at my very first book signing. I was bummed that I wouldn't be able to use it - until now.

So, for those who have asked, Beware the Hawk is an e-book. This is awesome for lots of reasons – it’s easy to download, it stays in print forever, it doesn’t weigh anything and it’s not killing trees. In short, it’s kinda made of magic. But one thing you can’t do with an e-book? You can’t sign it.

That’s a bummer, because book signings are fun. One of my writers’ groups once published an anthology and held a book signing and it was amazing. I could have signed books all night. I considered coming home and signing every book in my bookshelves, but luckily my roommate at the time, (who was also in the writers’ group, but who also had books on the shelves that she probably didn’t want me to deface) distracted me.

I digress.

Anyhow, I was sort of saddened by the fact that there would be no book signing at first, and then, during a conversation on Facebook, I realized that I don’t need to have a physical book to have a signing. In fact I don’t even need to be in the same room with everyone to have a signing. Here’s the deal.

From now until next Monday (Jan. 23, 2012), people who buy the book can send me an email with their mailing address. I’ll send you an autographed Post-It that you can put on your Kindle, Nook or computer while you’re reading my book. Not very fancy, perhaps, but who doesn’t like getting mail that’s not a bill?

So, if you want your autograph, send your mailing addresses to annjoconnell<at>gmail<dot>com. (Just until Jan. 23. Because this week is a special week.)

Then keep an eye on that mailbox. Now, if only I could figure out how to do a virtual reading.

* If you want to help a woman out, get it from the Vagabondage Press site. Both the publishers and I get better royalties and you get the book in three formats. Also, why reward Amazon for releasing the book early?

Book update.

Beware The Hawk novellaHello folks. Just a brief Sunday post to let you all know that Vagabondage Press has a book page up now for my novella Beware the Hawk.

Here it is!

The page is up, but orders won’t be taken until Jan. 17. The publishers and I are reaching out to book bloggers now, and I’m trying to set up a blog tour.

I also want to thank everyone for the incredible amount of support I’ve been getting.  I’ve gotten shout-outs on people’s blogs and insane amounts of congratulations, people have liked my Facebook fan page. I’ve heard from a couple of reviewers. Someone even nominated me for a blog award. Someone else  promised me a glowing five star review on Amazon* without even having read the book. So generous. Thank you guys so much for all of your support so far. I’ve been blown away by all of your kind words. I was very nervous about promoting this book a week ago but you have set my mind at ease.

Okay – that’s it for now. Tomorrow I promise to return to writing confessionals and posts about ninjas, dwarf-maidens and my biological clock.

*I cannot tell a lie. I will not say no to a five-star review on Amazon. But I am told – by those who know such things – that reviews on Goodreads are taken more seriously by the reading public. That’s where the bookworms gather, which makes me feel a little left out, since I don’t have an account there.