Hi - just wanted to say something without sounding really nuts... :)
Have been following you and your blog for some time now and was looking forward to your book release from the start. I clicked on your link today to pre-order at Amazon and suddenly realised something. I have no idea what the book was about! How dumb was that? lol.
I guess what the point of this message is (and there is a point, promise) is that the power of social networking and blogging is just as big as the experts (Kristen Lamb for one) say. I knew I'd purchase your book because I liked your quirkiness and fun personality that's apparent in everything I read about you and from you. It didn't matter what the book was about, I'd have bought it anyway. (note - I've read up on it now and it sounds great, LOL).
So congrats on the up and coming release and am looking forward to reading it.
Have a lovely day :) Xandra
Monday, June 27, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I’ve sailed along Australia's Great Barrier Reef, snorkeled with giant manta rays in Fiji , hiked through the Amazon jungle in Venezuela , climbed in the Swiss Alps, and ridden a camel into the Sahara at sunset to camp in the desert. I love seeing new places and racking up new experiences like notches on my bedpost.
So now I have to confess that I am completely, utterly terrified of traveling to New York City next week for the national convention of Romance Writers of America.
I’m not sure what’s got me so freaked out. Probably a combination of things ranging from my general social awkwardness (the sort that causes me to spit gristle in strangers' purses) to the fact that I have no idea what to wear to a dinner when the invitation includes the phrase, “the limo will pick you up at...”
My only visit to New York consisted of a night spent sleeping on the floor of the JFK Airport in a skirt while blazing with fever from a weird bug I’d just picked up in Morocco. While I’ve certainly spent time in larger cities, there’s something about the idea of this city that terrifies the holy living hell out of me.
Then there’s the fact that I’m a serious, serious introvert. People tend to assume introvert is a synonym for “shy,” which I can promise you is not the case. While I'm capable of being bubbly and outgoing in large groups of strangers, I get my energy from being alone. My fear is that after two days in New York, I’ll be so over-stimulated by human interaction that I’ll end up spending the rest of the week hiding under the bed with my hands over my ears humming Motley Crue's, “Home Sweet Home.”
Fortunately, I have a close girlfriend with a designer handbag boutique and a finely-tuned fashion sense that extends beyond knowing which yoga pants pair best with the mustard-stained t-shirt. I’m bribing her with wine to come over tonight and go through my closet so she can tell me what to wear, what not to wear, and what to burn in my backyard barbecue pit before anyone realizes I actually own something that ugly.
So that helps.
But I’m still freaked. I haven’t had time yet to research the logistics of finding my way from the Newark airport to the Marriott Marquis hotel at 5:30 on a Monday morning, nor have I explored options from getting from there to La Guardia when I head home Saturday.
Hell, for that matter, I’m not even sure how I’m getting from my house to the airport for my 1:30 departure on Sunday afternoon.
I know I need to just chill out. Everything will be fine. I will likely not get lost or mugged or overwhelmed with the sudden urge to climb topless onto a table at an awards banquet and do a finger puppet routine.
Actually, I make no promises on that last one.
But there are some things I’m REALLY looking forward to. For one, I’ll be rooming with uber-cool author pals Jeffe Kennedy (who I’ve never actually met in person but feel like I’ve known for years) and Marcella Bernard (who you may recall came to my rescue when I got a flat tire en route to a conference in Seattle last fall).
For another, I’ll finally, FINALLY get to meet my amazing agent in person. I’ve been represented by Michelle Wolfson for 3.5 years, so it’s about damn time I bought her a drink. Or twelve.
And then I’ll get to meet all the Sourcebooks people, including my editor, Deb Werksman, and all the cool publicity and production people and...
Holy crap. That's a lot of people. I think I need to lie down now.
For those of you who've been to New York (or those who've been to big-ass conferences like this) do you have any tips for me? For my fellow introverts, do you have any tricks for handling extended periods of being "on" in settings like this? Please share. I need all the help I can get!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A man, if you must know. I know it’s a little soon after announcing my divorce to be sharing this, but you really can't dictate when you're going to find someone special.
I met him yesterday when I took some skirts to my favorite seamstress to be hemmed. There he was, standing by the door like he'd been waiting for me my whole life.
I know it sounds cliché, but it was love at first sight for both of us. His name is Ewan, and he's the most amazing man I've ever met. Would you like to see a photo?
I'm sure it's easy to see why I'm smitten. Right after we met, I posted his photo on Facebook and Twitter so friends and family could share in my joy. I was delighted to discover not only were people supportive, but eager to point out the advantages to having a romantic relationship with someone like Ewan.
- Since he has no arms, Ewan will never hold me back.
- Without feet, Ewan is unlikely to run away or step out on me.
- Ewan will never whine, belch, fart, curse in front of my grandmother, or say anything insulting.
- Ewan is always hard. Always.
- I can be certain Ewan is unarmed.
So what do you think of Ewan? Can you offer any additional commentary on the advantages of this new relationship? Please share!
Ewan and I will be over here gazing into each other's eyes while we hold hands.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
You don't choose what will work. You simply do the best you can each time. And you try to do what you can to increase the likelihood that good art will be created.
And sometimes, and it's as true of authors as it is of readers, you have a life. People in your world get sick or die. You fall in love, or out of love. You move house. Your aunt comes to stay. You agreed to give a talk half-way around the world five years ago, and suddenly you realise that that talk is due now. Your last book comes out and the critics vociferously hated it and now you simply don't feel like writing another. Your cat learns to levitate and the matter must be properly documented and investigated. There are deer in the apple orchard. A thunderstorm fries your hard disk and fries the backup drive as well...
And life is a good thing for a writer. It's where we get our raw material, for a start. We quite like to stop and watch it.
Friday, June 17, 2011
|Hiking in the Andes mountains.|
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The polls have closed, and victory belongs to...
Applause! Applause! Jenna, would you like to do a victory dance?
Speaking of Jenna and book covers, she let me have a sneak peek at the cover for her upcoming release (get ready for this title) If It Was Easy, They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married.
It doesn't hit shelves 'til October, but you can bet your sweet bacon bits I've already pre-ordered that bad boy.
Congratulations to Jenna, and thank you to ALL OF YOU who submitted entries in the contest. I wish I had an advance reading copy of Making Waves to offer everyone, but alas, I do not.
I can offer a special Making Waves booty bag to everyone who submitted a photo reenactment of the cover. Send your snail mail address to tawnafenske at yahoo dot com and I'll hook you up.
Oh, and as promised, I picked one random commenter to also receive a booty bag. Well, I didn't actually pick. I wrote all the entries on little slips of paper, put them in a mixing bowl, and went upstairs to knock on the new housemate's door.
"Could I get you to pick a blog contest winner for me?" I called.
"A blog contest winner. You see, I have this blog..."
It dawned on me that if my housemates aren't already aware of this blog, perhaps it's best if I don't alert them. I held up the bowl and smiled.
"How about you just choose a piece of paper?"
So he chose. Congratulations to Crystal Posey! Send me your snail mail address and I'll make sure you get a booty bag as well.
Thanks again to everyone for playing!
Oh, and in case this post is a little too boring for your taste, stop by The Divining Wand where I guest blogged about how "Finding where you fit is harder than it looks." Over there, I politely refrained from making a sex joke about that title.
Here on this blog, however...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Apparently, that showed my mom what she needed to know about his level of thoughtfulness and courtesy. I suppose if you’re planning chop up your new housemates with an ax and eat their eyeballs, you don’t first phone your father to let him know how the roads were.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Ever notice how "fabulous" and "disturbing" are sometimes eerily similar?
I considered asking one of my housemates to judge the entries, but a new one just moved in Saturday and I'm hesitant to scare him the way I did with the other guy.
I tried to get my dog to judge, but she wouldn't stop licking the computer screen.
I decided it's best to go ahead and put the vote to you guys, my fabulous blog readers. I was going to omit the names of the contestants to keep things fair, but at least one of the entries makes it pretty obvious. Besides, since when is life fair?
So here's what we'll do: I'll stick a little clicky-box poll at the bottom of this post. Vote for your favorite entry by 8 p.m. PST on Wednesday, June 15. I'll tally them up in the evening, and will post the winner on Tuesday. That person will receive the ARC of Making Waves.
In addition, I invite you to leave a comment telling me why you voted the way you did. Though I don't have any extra ARCs to give away, I do have a very special Making Waves booty bag I'll send to one commenter. Sound good?
So now, without further ado, here are the entries...
From the amazing Jenna McCarthy:
Friday, June 10, 2011
OK, fine. You can do that on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Powells or Borders or IndieBound or probably some dark alley out of the trunk of an El Camino.
Now that I've got my fake sales pitch out of the way, how about I just recap where you might be able to get it for free?
Today is supposedly the last day to send me an entry in my contest where you create a photo reenactment of my cover to win an advance reading copy (ARC) of the book. Details are here and because I'm feeling generous, I'll go ahead and extend the deadline through 10 p.m. PST on Saturday, June 11.
Author Trisha Leigh is also giving away an ARC in a 150-word writing contest on her blog. Deadline for that is Sunday, so hop on over there and give it a shot.
Last but not least, Sydnee Thompson is also doing a blog giveaway for an ARC of Making Waves. You have until June 25 to enter her contest, but you might as well jump on it now before you forget.
So there you are. Three possible ways to get a free copy of Making Waves before it hits shelves August 1.
Ever notice how free food usually tastes better? I can't promise the same with this book (and I really don't recommend consuming paper products) but free is always a good price, right?
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I won't go so far as to suggest I'm deserving of praise (though I'm totally worthy of the singing).
There have been some very nice people saying some very nice things about Making Waves lately, so today I'm going to step back and let them do that.
Sydnee Thompson got her hands on an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of Making Waves and posted a lovely review of it. Allie Sanders also reviewed the book after winning a copy on this blog, and her kind words made me feel all glowy and tingly.
Over at poptimal.com, Making Waves was included on a lovely list of "must grab summer reads." I'm a little disappointed no one has shown up to grab me yet, but I'm leaving my front door open and feeling hopeful it'll happen soon.
And in case you really need to hear me talk about me, I'm being interviewed today over at The Divining Wand. Before you ask, yes – I really can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.
It feels a little funny to have my book out there in the world right now, and to have someone besides me talking about it. I'm not sure I'll get used to that anytime soon, but for today, it's nice to shut the @#$% up and let other people talk about me.
Wait, what did you just say?
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
As a fallible human being going through a divorce mere months before the release of my debut novel . . . well, sometimes it's hard.
Go ahead and make the hard-on joke. I'll wait.
Monday was one of those days I felt overwhelmed and sad and stressed and decidedly unfunny. Hey, it happens. I'm learning to cut myself some slack.
One thing I've been grateful for these last few months are the little bitty ways people brighten my days. Often, the bright things come the instant I most desperately need them.
Like this photo my brother sent of his brand new puppy napping with their older dog:
Seriously, if you can look at that without smiling, you are dead inside.
Another bright spot was this photo a friend texted me while browsing a local department store:
Which reminds me, aren't we due for another round of Garage Porn?
And speaking of porn, here's a photo a friend snapped in Newport, Oregon and sent to me because she knew it would make me laugh:
Then there are the people who make me smile in other ways. No, I'm not talking about that.
I mean the friendly pokes on Facebook or the silly jokes sent via email or the Twitter posts from people saying they just pre-ordered Making Waves.
And of course, there are the blog comments here that never cease to make me smile. I've slowed down lately on replying to comments like I used to, but rest assured, I read and adore every single one. You guys leave me grinning constantly.
So on that note, what little things have been making you smile lately?
Monday, June 6, 2011
It started Friday evening. I was gathering things to take to a friend’s yard sale when my 20-year-old housemate came home from Bible study. Since he’s moving out next week when the college term ends, I asked if he had anything he’d like to sell so he won’t have to move it.
“Let me check,” he said, and bounded off up the stairs.
I wandered out to the garage to survey my own collection of saleable crap. When I returned to my office, I discovered he’d left a small pile yard sale goodies for me to take. The pile included the following:
- A lamp
- A recipe box
- Several articles of neatly folded clothing
- A pocketknife
- A poster
I was also kind of wondering if he had the keys.
But by then, he’d gone to bed. Knocking on his bedroom door to inquire about a pair of red fur handcuffs seemed like a bad idea on several levels, so I set them aside and called it a night.
The next morning, I headed off to the yard sale. Included among my items for sale were two giant boxes filled with 10 years’ worth of Playboy magazine. Yes, the subscription is mine. What? I love the recipes, articles, and political commentary. I’m only dimly aware there are naked pictures inside.
I was a little worried my friend might balk at the idea of selling big boxes of nudie magazines, but realized I had nothing to fear when she began setting out an array of sex manuals for sale.
“Maybe we should set these on the other side of the yard so people don’t have to dig through the boxes right next to us and worry we’re judging them,” she mused.
“It’s our stuff,” I pointed out. “Why would we be judging?”
So we sat and waited. It hardly took any time at all before a guy came up and made an offer on an entire box of Playboys.
Then a few of the sex books sold.
Then the rest of the Playboys sold to a guy who couldn't fit the box on his bike, so he opted to leave the bike with us and walk home with his box of magazines. I wish I was kidding.
I should point out we weren’t just peddling porn. There was furniture and clothing and appliances and artwork and everything else under the sun.
But even so, the sex thing permeated every exchange.
“Are you allowed to go down on things?” a woman asked as she marched up to my little cashier table.
I looked up in alarm. “Um—”
My friend kicked me. “Prices. She means prices.”
An hour later, my friend got a similar inquiry. “How firm is this?”
By the end of the afternoon, all the risqué merchandise was gone. It’s possible one of the books made it into my pile of purchases.
It’s also possible those handcuffs never made it to the yard sale at all. What? They're fuzzy.
Friday, June 3, 2011
My mom is touched by how many of you are looking out for her and want to make sure she gets a copy. She'd like to adopt those of you who suggested she receive an ARC, and spank those of you who didn't.
As I mentioned, I got five ARCs. The copy that went to The Debutante Ball authors won't likely make its way back to me, and I probably shouldn't ask the blog contest winner to return hers after she wrote that nice review and everything.
It did dawn on me that the copy
Once I wrestled the book back from my pal's evil clutches, I reviewed all your wonderful ideas for holding a blog contest. Several of you suggested asking readers to submit photo-reenactments of the book's cover, an idea I find so brilliant I want to run out and try it right now.
But I will restrain myself (rare, I know) and leave the fun to you guys.
So here's the deal:
I want you to give me your best reenactment of the cover for Making Waves. That doesn't mean you and your sweetie have to go out and risk arrest at your local boat storage facility (though I'll totally come visit you in jail if that happens). Feel free to get creative with this. You can be literal with it or do your own special interpretation of the cover art. Whatever floats your boat.
Ha! Get it?
Send the photographs to me at tawnafenske at yahoo dot com no later than noon PST on Saturday, June 11. I'll announce a winner here on Monday, June 13.
Questions? Complaints? Throw 'em in the the comments section and I'll try to respond.
Now go out and make some waves.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I was a journalist many moons ago, and eventually made my way to a career in marketing/public relations where I’ve grown fairly accustomed to seeing my byline in magazines and newsletters.
That’s a lie, actually.
I pretty much never see my own byline because I can’t stand to look at anything I’ve written after it’s printed. I’m terrified I’ll see mistakes and won’t be able to fix them. That doesn’t hold true for blog posts, which can be edited and tweaked even after publication.
But anything in print that can no longer be corrected? Forget it. I refuse to look. I’d rather slam my hand in the car door repeatedly until I pass out. I’ve had this hang-up since my days of writing for the high school newspaper, so I doubt it’s going to recede anytime soon.
I’m kind of not sure what to do with the books, to be honest. One copy is making the rounds with my fellow authors at The Debutante Ball. One copy went to blog contest winner Allie Sanders (who read it in less than 24 hours and already posted a lovely review). One copy was
viciously stolen by generously gifted to a close friend.
That leaves me with two copies. I suppose I should keep one for myself for sentimental purposes or just to wave around and show people.
So what should I do with the last one?
I emailed the Sourcebooks publicity director to see if there’s some special way I’m supposed to use the ARCs. Like maybe this is one of those things all the real authors know about, but I somehow missed the memo.
She wrote back with a few suggestions, but ultimately, left it up to me:
I send these copies for your own use, so do what you will! she wrote.
So I’ll go ahead and turn this over to you guys. What do you think I should do with this extra ARC? Offer it to my mom? Do a blog contest giveaway? Bury it in a time capsule in my backyard?
I’ll open this up for your suggestions and will decide this lonely ARC’s fate within the next few days.
In the meantime, I’ll be over here not looking at it.