Royalties, Seattle Writer’s Workshop, and The Celtic Cradle

Hey, how’s everyone doing? First off, my apologies for taking so long between posts—it’s been a hectic few months. Second, here’s an update on my last post. My son from another mother (and father), Kaleb, is doing great! His recent check-ups have all gone very well, and he’s back to playing his guitar and viola. His plans include heading back to school in the near future to focus on his music, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who donated to his medical fund. Thanks to people like you, and his insurance kicking in, all his medical bills were met and Kaleb can start off his future without that additional worry.

Now, on to the book stuff. In January, I attended the Seattle Writing Workshop, paid for with the royalties from my book sales.

That was a fun conversation to have with the very young bank teller, by the way.

“I’d like to cash this check, please. Here’s my account number.”

I hand her the appropriate form, and my beat-up driver’s license. I tell everyone who asks that the little piece of plastic went through the dryer too many times, but the truth is, I’ve used it once or twice to get back into my apartment after locking myself out.

(On a side note, cats are fairly lazy. I could not convince either kitty to unlock the door for me. They just kept staring at me through the window.)

omg catOMG cat

“Sure,” she answers, with a perky smile. “I’d be happy to take care of that for you.” She reaches for the check, gives it the once-over and then frowns. “I’m sorry, I’ll have to get my manager to approve this. It’s really from Amazon?”

“Yes,” I say, beaming. “It’s my royalty check from my books–” dramatic pause, since she still seemed confused, and to build up tension, “–because I…am an author.”

I’m not sure what I was waiting for. Maybe a delighted, “Really? What do you write?”

Or the more common, “Oh, I write, too. Wait, you mean you’ve written an actual book?”

Or the funnier, even if irritating, blank stare.

blink eyes

This, however, is what she said:

“Oh.” She leans over to the teller next to her and whispers something. When she turns back, she asks, “What’s a royalty?”

penguins

Image courtesy of Jantoo.com

That’s okay. I was happy to explain that, too. And by the way, nice teller at US Bank, my books are still available. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N2FYXXK/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

the celtic contract pic                                           the celtic captive pic

Anyway, the conference was amazing. Led by Chuck Sambuchino, major contributor/writer/editor of Reader’s Digest, and creator of the very popular Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog, it was dynamic, fun and very informative. I met several great people. I’ve forgotten the young girl’s name that sat next to me on my right, who had the awesome first page, but the two ladies on my left, Lara and Alexandra, are going to make it big someday.

I’ve never been to a writer’s conference before. Organized by Jennifer Bell, we were not only given terrific information on platform building (creating an online presence) and crafting the perfect pitch or query letter, we were also given the opportunity to have Chuck read and critique our queries. Then, for those who wanted to, we could provide the first page of our babies—um, books—and the panel of agents and editors who were sitting in gave feedback to those whose pages were chosen at random.

My first page, alas, was not picked from the pile to be read. (Much like every junior-high PE class sports team I’ve been forced to participate in.)

velmaNo, not dodge ball!

And, if that weren’t enough, we were also provided the opportunity to sit with one of the agents, or two, or three, and pitch our work to them directly.

I chose to pitch to the senior editor of a publishing house in Oregon.

I was scared to death, but he was great. I’m not naming him, because I’m afraid to jinx the process. He has my manuscript, Serve Me, a psychological thriller unrelated to my romance series, in his hands.

I think the best part of the day, however, was meeting other authors who were just as serious (and slightly crazed) about their craft as I am.

crazy

randomthoughtsnrb.blogspot.com

(Do the lack of apostrophes bother anyone else?)

I am currently working on book number three of the Kilts Series, The Celtic Cradle.

Playful, carefree, ladykiller Séamus Kierney has finally met his match, and she comes in the form of a pint-size world-wrecker, with ginger curls and the same deep brown eyes as his own. Life, as he knows it, is over.

At eighteen months, Róisín (ro-sheen) is a handful. But it’s her aunt–serious, disapproving Rebekka Foster, determined to prove Séamus is unfit to be a parent–who has Séamus tied up in knots.

Will he finally break his vow to never allow his heart to be taken, and will he be the great “Da” his friends think he can be? When push comes to shove, and Róisín breaks his favorite guitar, what will he do?

Duty can only go so far.

My target date for the release of this book is July 15th.

Okay, enough chitchatting. Gotta get back to Séamus. Poor guy. Róisín’s about to give him the kind of hell only parents truly get—but you’ll have to read the book to find out just what that is.

I love feedback. If you’ve read one of my books, I’d love to hear what you thought of them. You can either leave your comments here, or go back to the site where you purchased the book, either through createspace.com or Amazon/Kindle. Or the books are up for review through Goodreads.

Book reviews are vital to an author’s career. They are what help other readers decide to take a chance on an unknown like me, and provide valuable information to an agent or editor looking to take the writer on as their own.

Until next time,

Jeanie 😉

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