Thursday, January 29, 2015

The problem every writer wishes they could have... Until they don't.

You remember when you were a young kid and you got to P.E. class and the gym teacher busted out those big ass rubber bouncy balls with the handles on top? The ride-able ones. Looked like this?


(Photo courtesy of Amazon.com's photo studio. It's cool. I know people here... seriously.)

Well in the last couple of weeks, I've been the rubber bouncy ball and my muse has been riding my ass up and down the street bouncing along the sidewalk like a hyperactive bunny on speed going, "WHY! WON'T! YOU! WRITE! WHAT! I'M! TELLING YOOOOOOOU!"

Because bitch! Even The Flash couldn't write faster than the shit you are pouring into my brain! I'm trying to keep up here I'm trying!

I suppose that as far as problems go it's a good one to have but at the same time, it's exhausting. If I were going at the pace I had ideas coming in, I'd have a 7th book to the SHMC series, a trilogy of books set in the SHMC world, a military romance stand alone, a stalker romance standalone, and two other stand alones waiting to head to my over worked and underpaid editor.

I'm afraid I am going to start losing things and I'm not ready to take on multiple projects at once so I'm stuck here on overload wondering if I should abandon my current military romance standalone project I am writing in favor of picking up stronger character voices and story lines, or if I should just double down and get Never Another Day Without You written.

If every poor writer could be so lucky as to have a problem like mine. Am I right?

*Sigh*

Well back to it.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reality - check check check?

*Tap tap tap*

Is this thing on? Oh. Good. How you all doing today? Good? Awesome! Glad to see it.

I uh, wanted to take a minute here to ask some of my genre... What is your fucking deal lately?

Seriously.

We're all here, we all write MC Romance / Erotica and there is absolutely no reason for some of the bullshit I see flying.
...
Take a look around you at these fabulous women and yes, even some men too, who read us. Do you see any of them talking about just *one* author?

No.

That's because people don't read just one book. Books are like potato chips. You can't have just one. These wonderful people who read my work read your work too, as well they should! My work is okay, your work is fabulous. What's more? There is always room for more.

We, the grounded authors of our genre, the ones who have been writing it for a while, should be welcoming new writers with their worlds and MC's with open arms. So why am I hearing about established authors ripping on newbie authors with baseless threats and accusations?

Seriously. Take some fucking Midol. Bust out the chocolate and the whiskey and get over yourself! There is plenty of room for all of us here just like there are plenty of readers out there that will read you then me and the new girl and will still be wanting the new you or new me and the new girl a couple of months from now when we get our shit together and hit that publish button for the next big thing in our series or world.

There's no reason for anyone to be insecure on the indie circuit and there is every reason to be a positive force and help our fellow indie authors succeed. You don't have to like me, or the new girl or the next person after that. We're not Facebook statuses. We're authors. I love me some Laurell K. Hamilton, I loathe me some Anne Rice. They both write vampires, that's about where their similarities end.

Same. With. Us.

My MC boys are protective and loving Alpha males which has some girls calling foul, the next girls guys are rough and tough and are borderline if not outright ass holes but they have their place in their world just like my guys have their place in mine.

Doesn't mean Suzy Q Public isn't going to read me over you or vice versa. If anything, she'll give us both a try.

TL;DR version of this?

I am not better. You are not worse. We are just different. Every author needs to stay in their lane and keep on keepin' on!

Thank you.

*Folds up soapbox and exits stage left.*

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Update!

Monday Update!

If you haven't already gotten into them, you should probably catch up on the first three books in the series because 3.5 may be a cute little novella, but it packs a hell of an emotional punch!

Just ask some of the folks ...who have gotten to read it!

Jennifer says:

"I am in awe!!! M/M is not this author's standard style but she did this perfectly! A.J. Downey pulls you into her story, I could feel the needle on my arm, and ended the book thinking I needed to go get a new tat. The story of Andy (Squick) and Aaron is a novella but wasn't rush and flowed seamlessly. I do highly recommend that you read the first 3 of this series as the other characters are in this story as well, and I personally hate to feel like I missed something when they are talking about past events. I know for a fact that A.J. Downey's books are a one click for me. Cant wait to see what happens next!!!"

Melanie said this about Masked & Miserable:

"I've never read M/M before so wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a sweet, heart warming story of finding love, coming out and the true meaning of brotherhood.

I highly recommend this book and that you also read Book 1: Shattered & Scarred, Book 2: Broken & Burned and Book 3: Cracked & Crushed if you haven't already to get the full experience, and just because they are that good."

You still have time to pick up and read through the first three novels of my series, Masked & Miserable goes live, 2/9/15 and if that wasn't quite enough to convince you, Sherelle Ross had this to say:
 
video
 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Because I feel like it...

I feel like writing something but I'm really not in the mood to write as in story, so a blog post is just the thing!

Today was an insanely busy day but it was a good one. As anyone with a Facebook connection with me knows, I will be doing my very first book selling/signing event ever on February 7th. The event, put on by local Steampunk writer Jeffrey Cook, is called I <Heart> Books and will be held at the AFK Elixirs & Eatery in Renton, WA from 14:00 to 21:00.

I will be there along with Jeff and eight other local authors from the Pacific Northwest, however, I will be the only romance specific author in attendance. Everyone else writes a variety of things, from Steampunk, to Fantasy, to Futuristic Sci-Fi to Satire and all of it is varying degrees of awesome!

In preparation for the event, I spent all day with my fiancé while he drove me around town so I could plaster flyers on every coffee shop, bookstore and community bulletin board we could find. There is no use signing up for an event if everyone on board doesn't do something to promote it in some way, am I right?

What's the use of plunking your ass behind a table with your books in front of you if no one knows you're sitting there?

Being an author is an interactive and sometimes full contact sport. ;) (No one knows this better than my fiancé when I drag him down the hall towards our room declaring that it's time for 'research'.)

There are a lot of things that go into a book besides words, a theme, and a pretty cover to house it all. When the writing is done, the editor finished, the package all wrapped up attractively it is then that the real work begins. You need people to read your book. You need to tell them about it, shout it from the rooftops, be involved in the sale of your book. You can't just send it out into the world and hope someone adopts your baby as their own, you need to make it stand out from all the other works eligible for adoption.

Here is the absolute, unparalleled beauty of the profession though. We authors are in the unique position in that we don't really have to compete. The absolute truth and joy of it is people read books, not book but books, plural which means that we can support each other, encourage each other, read each other and tell others to read one another if we really like what the next person is doing. It is this beautiful, fantastic breeding ground of never ending positive energy that can be shared and multiplied and *sigh* a huge reason I love doing what I'm doing.

I got to spend my whole day preaching to the world about not just myself but nine other fabulous artists and I can't wait for just one person to come in and say they came because they saw a flyer at their particular coffee joint. That will have made this whole long exhausting day so incredibly worth it. Hell, it already is for the good vibes I'm getting from being so excited!

Anyways, I'm done being sappy for now and I really am tired so I'm going to call it here. Hopefully we'll meet at I <Heart> Books in a few weeks!

Later!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Way to make me look all professional and S%&#!!!

As all of you probably know, technowidgetry is not exactly my strong suit. I write books. I write sexy books, I write characters and worlds in unbelievably fantastic ways but you put a laptop in front of me and tell me to make a picture or write some code... Yeah I'll probably beat you to death with said laptop after 10 minutes of trying. My brain can't handle it. It just plain isn't wired that way.

So total score when designer was like, hey thanks for helping me out, want me to do something with the glaring white wall that is your blog?

To borrow a saying of Reaver's: Does the Pope shit in the woods!?

So for those of you that might not get the reference...

1. Translation: YES.

2. Go buy my books so you get what the hell I am talking about. *wicked evil grin*

So yeah. The place got a spiffy makeover, two book minded people helped each other out and all in all I think it's pretty safe to say it's been a good friggin' day and this place might get a little more attention now.

Yay!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Update 1/19/15!

Monday...
Update!
Books 1 - 3 of the SHMC series are officially in print! I've ordered a case of each for the seller's event and can I just say? OWE, THAT HURT!

You can find them either on Createspace or on Amazon via my author page. Here are the links for each, purely for your convenience, of course.

Shattered & Scarred
https://www.createspace.com/5106339
https://www.amazon.com/author/ajdowney

Broken & Burned
https://www.createspace.com/5106364
https://www.amazon.com/author/ajdowney

Cracked & Crushed
https://www.createspace.com/5106379
https://www.amazon.com/author/ajdowney

Want your copy signed but live out in the boonies? If there is enough interest I may set up a PO box that you can ship them to. Just write your address clearly on a 3x5 index card and send it with the books. I will handle return shipping. - Something like that. If this interests you, leave a comment!
Book 4 came out of it's edits, underwent some rewrites to the tune of an additional 2,500+ words and went into the first round of beta reads within the Sacred Circle. 4 ladies tore into it and have done a fabulous job of ferreting out typos and mistakes either missed by editing or that were created during rewrites. So thank you Melanie Beswick, Sherelle Ross, Jennifer Mitsada, and Deanna Bewley Davis!

Additionally, a beta copy went to Paula Simoes Batista who is absolutely grinding it out right now. Not only is she hard at work on the trailer for Book 4, she's working on 4 other trailers for 4 other books! I hope those authors love and appreciate her as much as I do!
Tracie Warren is working on Book 5's edits and don't you worry, I'm keeping Lia Rees busy too. She's finished with formatting 3.5 for print and it is in it's proofing stage so I have her designing stickers for a swag pack.

A lot of last week was the frustration of trolling through stock image sites looking for THE PERFECT Dray, Zander, Ghost, etc. It's a hard life when you have to spend days at a time looking at hot guy after hot guy trying to find the perfect one, let me tell you. I had the whole Sacred Circle going crazy.

So now the question is, what's going on THIS WEEK?

Well this week is going to be a lot of organization. Sorting through any errors the beta readers have come up with. Working on the swag packs and dealing with the piles of shipments that are going to be coming in.

Additionally, I will continue to write on the military romance stand-alone novel/novella I am working on...

So a lot to do just not a lot to say about it. *Shrug*

Anyways. I need to get back to the grind over here. Any questions, leave them below! You know I am good about getting back to folks. :) Until later, much love and happy reading!

-A.J.

Monday, January 12, 2015

So sorry! I've been neglectful over here!

Well Crap! It's another Monday so I guess that means it's time for another MONDAY UPDATE:

So. Much. Happening.

PRINT-
Books 1, 2 & 3 are in the proofing stage. I should receive the proofs in the mail by Wednesday of this week and then I will go from there.

3.5 is in the capable hands of the ever so lovely Lia Rees over at freeyourwords and has already been formatted for the page. Well, the internals have anyways. She got that done in record time people. All she has to do is the back cover and that one will be ready for print too.

Incidentally, 3.5 is available for preorder on Amazon now. In addition, I'm not sure how it happened, but for some reason Amazon didn't like the release date of February 10th. It decided my book is coming out February 9th instead. When I tried to tell Amazon, noooo it's supposed to be the 10th, the website told me noooo it's the 9th and if you try to change it you won't be able to set up any of your books for preorder for a year, so :P

Okay Amazon. You win this time... and by default so do you guys because you're getting Masked & Miserable a whole day early.

COVERS-

The covers for book 4 Tattered & Torn and book 5 Fractured & Formidable, are done. No you don't get to see them yet. Yes I know that makes me a total bitch. It's okay, I can live with that. All in good time, all in good time.

EDITS-

Book 4 came out of it's first round of edits on Saturday and I've been going over it. I'm three chapters in and have added over 1,000 words to the manuscript so it's going to have to go in for a second round of edits before my Sacred Circle gets their hands on it to beta read it. I'm lucky none of my Sacred Circle lives in my state. I'm afraid I would get a hearty kick in the cooter if they did. It is not news any of those girls wanted to hear.

Book 5 has gone in for the first round of edits but my editor got a more well rounded manuscript with that one so I don't think it will need to go in for a round two. We shall see when it comes out of round two if I decide to go as rewrite happy with it as I apparently am going on book 4.

APPEARANCES -

I am gearing up for my first live book selling and signing on February 7th at the AFK Elixirs & Eatery in Renton, WA so if you live here... Mark your calendar! There are going to be a lot of fantastic local indie authors at this thing both selling and signing their work so you don't want to miss it!

OTHER RANDOM CRAP -

I'm busy. In addition to edits and rewrites on the MC series I am working on a Military romance stand alone project that, right now, appears that it will be a novella. It has nothing to do with the SHMC or MC's in general but is turning out to be a sweet story. I'll let you know more about it when I know more about it.

That seems to be it for what I have to tell you this week! I'll see you next time.