Tag Archives: Thank You

Have you heard about FIRE IN THE WOODS? Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

Wow. Just Wow. What an emotional roller-coaster I have been on.

Project2When you get a book published, you have all these dreams and fantasies—how good it will do … How people will rave about it … How fans will clamor for more.

Project1But in reality, while all authors HOPE this will happen, in the back of our heads, we know the chances are slim.

When FIRE IN THE WOODS released September 23, there was an initial rush (I use that word mildly – a rush of about a dozen) people buying my book. This is always to be expected. Then you find out what the book industry is really like.

[insert cricket chirping sound bite]

Yeah, you guessed it. After the first few days, despite the great reviews, FIRE tanked.

I was okay. I just pulled up my big-girl britches and moved on. After all, I had another contracted novel to write.

Fire-in-the-Woods-Cover 3DThen, by a stroke of luck, Month9Books had a birthday and to celebrate, they offered all their ebooks for $.99.  FIRE IN THE WOODS was one of the better sellers that day.  Again, not monumental sales by any means. But I was told to sit back, relax, and let the book speak for itself.

I didn’t know what that meant until two days later, when the power readers finished my book.


Social media started to buzz:

“Couldn’t put it down.”

“Stayed up late to read it.”

“Finished in one sitting”


“Omisogh, I neeeed book two like, now!”

“One of my Favs.”

“I need more Jess and David in my life.”

PKO_0001147I was thrilled beyond belief. It didn’t matter to me (and it really didn’t) that the sales numbers weren’t huge. People were liking my book. It was a great feeling.

It didn’t really occur to me, though, that OTHER PEOPLE were reading those social media posts as well.

I couldn’t believe it—but two days AFTER THE SALE had ended the numbers rose. Exponentially. And those people finished in a few days. And they, too, felt strongly enough to take to Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and Goodreads.

The coveted “word of mouth” was rolling. And I could barely keep up with it.

Missing Piece of Cake2Then the proverbial icing slathered itself all over my purple alien-colored cake. British booktuber @benjaminoftomes picked FIRE IN THE WOODS to read for his Goodreads Book Club. A mind-boggling amount people joined.

PKO_cheer20007376Within a week, FIRE was #5 in Teen/Aliens in the UK, and held in the top 20 for nearly a month. (And is still in the top 50) Yay!

After a few weeks, FIRE started climbing up in the SciFi/Dystopian ranks in the US, and is holding pretty steady in the Teen/SciFi top 100 now, with daily momentum.

I can’t thank everyone enough for all the posts, tweets, reviews, pictures of yourself with the book, picture of my book “in the woods” and pictures of my book with your snacks. It’s YOUR enthusiasm that has brought FIRE IN THE WOODS to life.

Jess & David Double base BASE ONLY coverEvery little blip from a fan means more to me that you can imagine … and makes me want to type the sequels faster.

Because someone is out there, waiting to find out what happens with Jess and David.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Have I mentioned my Beta Readers ROCK?

Thank you

I know this may sound hokey, but considering what I put my beta readers through, I think I need to give them all a big public hug and a Thank You from the bottom of my heart for:

#1:  Not being mad when I put my own beta-reading on hold

#2:  Being so supportive and honest, even though they knew I was stressing

#3:  Not hating me for asking for so much help in such a tight timeframe

I would like to introduce My Beta Reading Army for Last Winter Red:

Ms. Fran Metzman:  Thank you for pointing out that I needed more setting.  At the very last minute, I balked and added extra scenic imagery.  I have to admit that the story is richer with it.

Krista Quintana:  Thank you for being the only one who pointed out that my beginning wasn’t great.  I thought I knew what you meant when someone else said to start it a little later, but the publisher called me on it, and now it starts even sooner.  Also, you were totally right about Sara.  I didn’t change her much, and she was one of the fixes that the publisher requested at the last minute.  She’s now 15.

Ravena Guron:  Thanks for being so anal… and I mean that in a good way.  You made me look at every sentence more critically, and my story was stronger for it.  Your closing comments on the final version that you read really hit home, and made me think that maybe I had something here.

Nancy Krause:  Thank you so much for doing that read over the holiday weekend.  Thank you for giving me your phone number (even though we barely knew each other) so we could discuss everything live.  Having a voice attached to the comments helped breathe some life into me – and oxygen at that point.

Dawn Burne:  For reading and showing me things that I hadn’t thought of.  I would have looked so stupid if that talking/attacking furniture made it to the publisher.  Thanks so much.

Julie Reece:  For jumping out of the Scribophile world and offering to read for me even though you were preparing for the release of your own debut novel.  I sent you my final draft at 2:30 in the morning, and it was waiting in my email when I woke up the next day.  I also appreciated your help with that one transition element that we emailed back and forth on.  If I can ever repay the favor, please let me know.

Gloria Richard:  Thank you so much for your support and “whoots”.  I was excited that you liked the romantic elements, since I hadn’t done that before.  All those stinking typos that you caught too… that would have been embarrassing.

Jenny Keller Ford:  What can I say?  You totally Rock.  From long nights dwelling over rejections, editing nightmares, and draft after draft… here we are.  Feels good, doesn’t it?

Sandro Fletcher:  Thank you for jumping back in when we haven’t spoken in so long.  The one “missing plotline reolution” that you mentioned is fixed.  It is now in the last two pages, and sewn up tight.  Thank you so much for your support, not only now, but for encouraging me when I first started out.

This is a diversified group of people, and if you noticed, they each gave something different in their perspective of my work.  It is important to build your own little army.  Know which person will find what, and build relationships.

If any one of these people were to ask me for help, I would stop what I was doing and help them.  If you support me, I will support you.

We are not alone in the writing world, and I have been incredibly lucky to know this amazing group of people.  If you don’t have beta readers/partners… they are out there.  Find them.  They can be a lifeline in your time of need.