Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Writer's Life --- and Giveaway

I'm blogging over at Sharon Hamilton's blog today. Here's a re-posting of my guest blog:

Stop by, and if you leave a comment on Sharon's blog post, you'll be entered to win an autographed paperback of Venice Vampyr - The Beginning (Novellas 1 - 3).

When I started out writing, I had a definite preconceived idea of what life as a writer was like: long stretches of sitting behind my computer, writing eagerly, would be interspersed with tea breaks and contemplating looks out through the window, then long lunches with my girlfriends, a little shopping in between. And by four p.m. my work for the day would be done, and I’d prepare a leisurely dinner for me and my husband or make a reservation at a nearby restaurant.

But becoming a writer was nothing like I’d imagined, yet everything I wanted.

My day starts early: I rise before 7 a.m. After a quick cup of coffee, I’m already at the computer, checking emails, sales statistics and sales rankings and make sure that all my books are still showing up at the various retailers. I’m a little paranoid that way, but after the things that have happened at various online retailers over the last few months (and I’m not naming names), I find it prudent to make sure my books are still for sale.
Once some of the admin work is out of the way, and I’ve replied to reader emails and guest blog requests, I start writing. I try to get about 4 - 5 hours of pure writing time in every day. On most days this translates to about 2000 - 3000 words or 8 - 12 pages double-spaced.

But if I thought that my day would then wind down, I was sadly mistaken. The rest of the afternoon and early evening is often spent with marketing tasks. Whenever I find a new retailer to upload my books to, a whole process of formatting and marketing starts. 

Only recently, I started uploading my books to the Apple iBookstore and had to discover that even though my ePub looked perfectly formatted on my computer, when I bought a test copy for my iPad, most of the formatting was gone: no indents, no justified text, no italics, no centered headings. It was a disaster. That’s when my real work started: I had to find out why my perfect ePub was suddenly not so perfect anymore. Needless to say, I spent hours correcting things and re-uploading. I’m a perfectionist that way. Now, every time I upload a new book somewhere, I purchase a copy for the appropriate device and make sure it looks all right. Would a publisher do that for you? Not sure. But frankly, that’s why I’m self-published, so I can control every aspect of my books. 

So, while other authors out there tell me that they don’t want to be both publisher and author, but would rather just concentrate on writing, I can’t let go of either. And even though it often is double the work, and many days I work 12 hours, I also reap all the rewards: I don’t have to share my royalties with an agent or a publisher.

But what’s even more rewarding is the knowledge that I was able to do it all myself. With the help of my faithful readers, of course, because without them, my books would be languishing on the digital shelf.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why I love Vampires

Here's a guest blog I'm doing over at Fierce Romance today:

Ever since I can think of, vampires have fascinated me. At first when watching Nosferatu, I was scared out of my skull, but when I saw Dracula (the Gary Oldman version), my feelings were entirely different. So I started to examine what I’m truly drawn to when I think of these preternatural creatures. Is it their strength, their superiority, or even their sexuality? Or is it something much more elemental, something much more at the heart of each human’s existence?

Mortality—I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m scared of dying. The thought that I’ll be gone one day, my thoughts and my mind vanishing into thin air as my body decomposes, has me hoping that soon the scientists will invent something that stops the aging process and has us live longer. I feel like bargaining: just an extra 20 years, please. And then I start thinking about the vampires. And it hits me: what attracts me to them is their immortality.

The attraction that lies within that one word is undeniable: immortality. It gives you the chance to see more than just a tiny slice of history. It allows you to be part of different eras, to experience the shifts that span generations. And to constantly change yourself. You can reinvent yourself with each change in society, live so many different lives, and experience everything that’s on offer. Who could resist?

Even in my relatively short life, I’ve seen the world change. When I grew up, there were no computers, and look at us today. Personally, I can’t imagine not having a computer. Plane travel has become common day. Most young people have never seen a rotary phone or used a typewriter. Imagine the changes a vampire would see: to go from a horse-drawn carriage to an automobile to a plane.

But this intimate look into history as a vampire isn’t all that attracts me to this creature. We probably all remember our first love. Who thought it would last forever? (*raises hand*) Yet, it didn’t last. But then later, we find our one true love and we think how could I have wasted all these years? I met my husband when I was already in my mid-thirties. Now we only have a relatively short time left. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that we have eternity with our love, with our soul mate? A vampire has that. When he finds his true love he can say “I love you for eternity.” And mean it.

So maybe that’s what our fascination with vampires (or at least mine) is all about: our fear of mortality, and our wish to love and be loved for eternity.

And that’s why I write vampire romances: my characters will live and love forever.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Venice Vampyr - Paperback

Venice Vampyr - The Beginning, which contains the first three novellas, is now available in Paperback format from If you want an autographed copy, please contact me at tina (at) I expect my shipment within the next 10 days.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Yvette's Haven (Scanguards Vampires #4) -- released over the weekend - hits top 100 on Barnes & Noble

I released Yvette's Haven, the 4th book in the Scanguards Vampires series on Friday. It has already hit the top 100 on Barnes & Noble.

Here are the purchase links

Soon also in the iBookstore