Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hardest Working Man I Know

Today let me introduce you to the hardest working author that I know. Austin S. Camacho is the hardest working author that I have come across thus far. OK, don't get in a huff; I said MAN...not woman. I can't give you all of the good stuff in one blog; now can I?
I met Mr. Camacho in June of 2009 at Borders in Waldorf Md.
(a moment of silence for Borders please)
Now back to our blog. He came in with his boxes of books, a tray of treats and a burst of energy.
What just happened? I thought to myself. I'm not suppose to be sharing my first signing. I wanted to stomp my feet and act like a three year old, but Mandy (store manager) assured me that I still got top billing. (prime location in any bookstore; being set up at the front door) while Mr. Camacho was relegated to the back of the store, by the children's books.
After witnessing, what I could only describe as a whirlwind of activity, I had to go back and see what was going on and what did I find?
I found a nicely draped table; I had no drape. A nice assortment of cookies; I had no cookies. He had books and was debuting his latest, Russian Roulette that very day. I had one book, Let Me Just Say This sitting on my table. And he had bookmarks, a nice display of colorful bookmarks; OK, I had bookmarks! So it wasn't a lost.
Then it happened. He smiled and talked to me.
Me, little 'ole me. First time author, first time book signing event. He spoke to me and gave me tips on how to keep folks interested. "Never sit down. I never sit down."
Since that meeting, I have been on panels with Mr. Camacho and I have been at events where he is the "Prince of the Novel world" and I am continuously in awe of him.
He puts out a monthly newsletter, he has a fan page on Facebook, he markets like no body's business. He is constantly asked to be on writer's panels and to speak to various book clubs and organizations. Did I also mention, he has a full time job!
Plus,I have it on good authority, that he has a new novel coming out this year!
If you want to know more about Mr. Camacho, pick up his great novels on or visit his website, and you will get to know his characters, just as I have. You will also get to see just how hard working he is.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Who do you hang out with?

That is the question you should always ask yourself if you are not surrounded by authors at least 3-5 hours a week or 1-3 days out of the month. Who do I hang out with? Well, I hang out with Author Brad Parks.
I was introduced to Brad (yes, I'm calling him by his first name)about a year ago by another very well known author, Austin S. Camacho. (more about him in a later blog)
I have always thought of myself as a 'go-getter', a social butterfly and yes, even an author 'groupie' (#don't judge me)
However, as an 'author groupie' I have put myself in places to meet the Brad Parks, John Gilstraps, Jeffery Deavers and Austin S. Camacho's in the literary world. Where else would I be sitting in the same room as J.A. Jance and Jeffrey Deavers, listening to them tell jokes and talk about their writing process. (Never heard of J.A. Jance...well shame on you and now you have a homework assignment.
So imagine when I walked up to Brad and said, "hey handsome, can a lowly girl like myself get a picture with someone of your caliber?" and then just for good measure I threw in a sad puppy face and he said, "sure". SCORE!
Now a little about Brad, since I am now one of his most favorite author's. Well, I'm one of his favorite people, OK, well I surely have to be his most favorite author in stilettos.
Brad Parks' debut, Faces of the Gone, won the Nero Award for Best American Mystery and the Shamus Award for Best First Mystery. In doing so, Parks became the first author in the combined 60-year history of the Nero and the Shamus to win both awards for the same book.
Now that should tell you something. Not only am I hanging out with celebrities, but I am hanging out with people that have won awards. (secretly I'm plotting to get that Shamus award but I heard that he has in under lock and key and with a 24 hour guard, and we won't even talk about his interns, but I think I can take Zach...shh, don't tell him I said that...but hey; they have got to sleep sometimes, right?
So, I'll ask you the question again...who do you hang out with? and just in case you don't believe me, check out my picture with Mr. Brad Parks yourself, and notice my belt...I told you, I'm a social butterfly.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Are you like the Marines?

Do you wonder what I mean by that? I mean, are you being all you can an author? Are you preparing yourself for marketing, book appearances, book signings, conferences. Are you on Twitter and Facebook. Yes, you need to be on both. Are you blogging, or at least guest blogging. Again, I ask you: Are you being all you can be?

If you answered NO to one of those questions, than you are doing yourself a dis-service.

In the past month I have attended 3 conferences and will head to another this weekend. How many have you attended this year. Your goal should be to do something once a month, that is book related.

Are you on Kindle? Are you marketing your books whenever you are out doing your errands? Don't stand to close to me in line and I see you pick up one of those 'magazines'. I will quickly tell you that I'm an author and if you want to read some GOOD fiction than you should pick up one of my novels, or one of my many friends novels.

Oh, friends. I have made great friends with Jeffrey Deavers, John Gilstrap, and Brad Parks. Did I mention that they are best selling authors. At least two of them are on NY Times Best Selling list. Imagine that! I met them at one of the many conferences I attend. Again, Imagine that! Oh, you don't believe me...well I have pictures to prove it and you will read and see all about it next week; along with the pictures from the upcoming Raven Con conference that I am attending this weekend in Richmond.

Again, I ask you; Are you like the Marines? Are you being all you can be?