Monday, May 23, 2016

UTOPiA Awards

I was so excited when a friend of mine messaged me saying, "Congratulations, I voted for you!"

Excited, but curious, as I had no idea what she was talking about. LOL. She happily informed me that

Fairy Tale Confessions
was nominated in the UTOPiA Awards
for Best Anthology.

Holy cow!!! I was so amazed and grateful, and am happy I could rearrange my schedule so that I could attend UTOPiA this year!

If you haven't already, please take a moment and click the link below to cast your vote, not only for FTC, but for all your favorites.

(Voting closes on my birthday, May 27! -- How cool is that?)


Click the image below to VOTE:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Indie Author Awards: The Ugly Truth

I recently ran across an article entitled Indie Author Awards: The Ugly Truth, written by J.N Chaney. I opened the link, honestly thinking it would be derogatory and bashing but was pleasantly surprised. Its focus was about the entry fees and the actual return you get for winning one of the “prestigious awards,” and how instead you could use that money for purposeful marketing.

I’m sure we have all entered a contest hoping to be named its winner, and even paid for that entry. Personally, I’ve never paid more than a $10 entry fee for any of the contests I’ve participated in, which I could count on just one hand. However, I was thrilled when I got to the part in Chaney’s article that read:
There are also tons of free awards with no entry cost, such as the awards being handed out in conventions like Utopia and Penned Con.  These don’t cost a thing. There’s no entry fee, no costs to use the award if you win. Awards like these encourage peer review, networking, and connection — all crucial to your success as an author.

SCORE!!! That’s one award I’ve actually WON––Penned Con: Best Cover 2015, along with a Reader’s Choice Award 2015 from a different venue. However, did it have the intended goal according to Chaney:

Remember, at the end of the day, we're here to sell booksAwards can be a nice bonus, but their reward must be meaningful and they have to actually help you.

Winning both of these awards was great, but did they make me more money? Perhaps. Honestly, I’m not sure, as any spike in numbers could have been contributed to sales or ads my publisher had running at the same time. For me, I was just so humbled to have even been nominated, and grateful that my work had received even the slightest amount of recognition, because that’s what it’s all about, right? Getting your stuff out there and recognized.

As for the Best Cover award, I can’t even take credit for that, lol. That was all the work of my fantastic cover designer, Regina Wamba. She was who I thanked when I told the crowd at Penned Con, “Thanks for liking what I loved.” At that same convention, however, I was also nominated for Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery) which I graciously lost to the amazing Denise Grover Swank. I was simply blessed for even being in the same category with her, Amy A. Bartol, and JD Nelson to mention a few, which brings us right back to the peer review, networking, and connection that Chaney pin-pointed.

For me, that connection with authors, readers, and bloggers is what it’s all about! Does it make me happy when I look at my award sitting on my shelf, of course, but what makes me even happier is knowing I’ll get to see the smiling faces of my friends and fans at my next event. Maybe I’ll get another nomination, maybe not, regardless, it’s all about putting myself out there, connecting, and making it count!

[See my full event schedule HERE]

[Read Chaney's full article HERE]

The Witches of BlackBrook
Winner: Best Cover Penned Con 2015
Winner: 2015 Readers Choice Award

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

RT Recap


Photo credit: Vegas Seven

OMG...where to begin? That's right...I'm in there somewhere! With over 600 authors and over 3000 reader attendees, RT16 is one for the books! (Ha...see what I did there?)
I'd like to thank Kathryn Falk, Ken, Jo Carol, Carol Stacy, Chantelle, Ashley Martinez, and the rest of the amazing RT staff for organizing such a fantastic event! (Trust me, putting up with just my questions alone gets these ladies pretty close to Saint-hood.)

All set up for the RT Giant Book Fair

 What I Learned at RT ~

1. RT has panels, workshops, and parties for everyone. There's so much going on at the same time, you're bound to find something that you'll be interested in attending.
Author Cross Promotion and Marketing panel
with Brynn Myers, ME, KR Wilburn, Amy Daws, and Mary Ting.

2. While all of my shoes were comfortable, it was the fact that we walked at least 3-5 miles a day, to and from the convention center, that had my dogs barkin'. Seriously...Ouch!

3. Jamie McGuire is so kind and the most adorable person I've encountered in a while.
Me & the super sweet Jamie McGuire

4. PC & Kristin Cast are AWESOME people!!! I'm really sensitive to other's energies and auras and I LOVED how they felt to me! (If you're my kinda of peeps, you'll know what I mean.) Plus, it kinda blew my mind when PC bought my book at the Giant Book Fair. I hope we can still be friends even if they think it sucks! Hehehe.

PC, ME & Kristin Cast                                                             ME & PC Cast

5. I finally got to meet my friend, Darynda Jones, and yes, she's as cool as you think.
Me with the infectious Darynda Jones

6. I met Alys Arden over a pizza buffet and it was awesome! LOL. Hopefully next time we'll have more time to chat! ♥

7. I had no choice but to stick my butt in Vilma Gonzalez's face when I was trying to escape the jam packed bar at the Rio! It was awkward, but she was awesome and kind. Again, just wish we would have had more time to chat! ♥

(Did I mention that there's ALWAYS something going on? It's non-stop, go, go, go and it was AWESOME!)

8. Having Larissa Ione read your tarot cards at a Cirque de Punk party was EPIC!!!
ME & the enchanting Larissa Ione at the Cirque de Punk party

9. The Voodoo rooftop nightclub was my favorite! Amy Daws and I rocked out, and Scott Nova and I danced the night away! He was a great dance partner and the perfect gentleman. I had a BLAST!!
ME & Amy Daws gettin' our groove on, high above the City of Lights

10. Anne Jolin is positively delightful and I will miss her until we meet again! Love you, you adorable little sushi roll! ♥

11. Ashley Martinez is little ball of fire. This woman never stops working and that's something I can relate to! Can't wait to see her again! XOXO

12. It wouldn't have been a party without all my Fairy Tale Confession sisters: Brynn Myers, Amy Daws, Mary Ting, and KR Wilburn. Thanks for coming and supporting our cause! ♥ Our little Mixer/Pop-Up party was so fun! (We missed you Sarah J. Pepper!)
Amy Daws, Brynn Myers, Me, Anne Jolin, Ginger Scott & KR Wilburn
at the Fairy Tale Mixer

13. I missed getting a picture with EL James, because I was stuck in panels but am currently debating photo-shopping my head onto my friend's picture instead to make myself feel better. Amy, would you mind? LOL. JK... #theresalwaysnextyear

In conclusion, there's no way I can mention everyone and everything here, so please follow me on Instagram to see all my amazing friends and our pictures! 

And oh yeah... Hope to see you in Atlanta! #RT17

Monday, April 4, 2016

RT Booklovers Convention Schedule

RT Booklovers Convention

Oh. My. Gosh!!! In one week I'll be heading to Vegas for #RT16.  This will be my first trip to not only RT, but to Vegas itself, and I couldn't be more excited!!! If you'll be in attendance, here are the places you can find me during the convention:

Tuesday April 12th - 4:30pm to 5:45pm

Wednesday April 13th - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Thursday April 16th - 11:45am to 12:10pm

Thursday April 16th - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
(This is not on the schedule, as it's a casual Mixer located in the RT Bar. Find any of the participating authors before the Mixer to receive your FREE drink card--while supplies last--and join us for a chance to win some amazing gift baskets. Costumes are optional!)

Saturday April 16th - 10:30am to 2:00pm
Titles Available: The Witches of BlackBrook, Raven's Breath, 
and Scent of a White Rose

Saturday April 16th - 6:45pm to 7:30pm

Sunday April 17th - 11:00am to 2:00pm
Titles Available: The Witches of BlackBrook, Raven's Breath, Fairy Tale Confessions, and the complete Rose Trilogy (Scent of a White Rose, Blood of a Red Rose, Death of a Black Rose) as well as other short-story companions.

In-between my scheduled appearances above, I'll be attending a slew of panels, workshops, and parties throughout the event. Please follow me on Instagram or Twitter at @TishThawer and #ComeFindMe.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Let's Get Real!

As a paranormal romance writer, most of my days are filled with magical, far-away places that you either want to live in forever, or run away from at the speed of light. Today, however, I'd like to talk about something very REAL in the writing world. 

What to do when there’s too much to do!
Authors...How do you go on when real life gets in the way?

“Honey, I’ve been transferred...again. I have to be in Colorado the first week of January.” This was the statement my husband made to me at the end of last year. To say it was devastating was an understatement.  We had just moved into a new house and my kids were settled in their schools, one heading towards his senior year. To uproot all we had in place and move from warm Arizona back to frigid Colorado was a huge undertaking, more so than you’d ever think.

The small college town we were headed to was packed with students, therefore leaving nary a rental in sight, and we had to move fast! Thankfully, a family friend offered a place to stay, which turned into a semi-permanent solution after some chaotic packing and moving of two households.

Needless to say, I’m still surrounded by boxes and a long laundry list of have-to’s in order to get my family settled again. The one thing that's been missing from that list, however, is writing.  I spent most of 2015 wearing my “business hat” and haven’t opened my laptop in over a month (only working from my phone), and not one single word has made its way to my grossly-overdue manuscript. do you go on when real life gets in the way?

For starts with not beating myself up over the downtime that is inevitable when life throws you a curveball. I KNOW I’ll get back on track soon and the words will start flowing again, and when that happens...look out! I type 93 wpm and have a wicked long book list that needs to get finished. I have stories that are already plotted and ready for me to jump into. And most importantly...I’m excited again!

Keeping yourself pumped for the stories you know are coming can be a major hurdle. As authors, we can have a tendency to get bogged down in the “have to write” stigma, instead of the “I’m excited to write” mindset. I’ve seen post-after-post about “How to get back on track” or “How to stay inspired” suggesting that it boils down to just making yourself write something every single day. And while that is sound advice that works for many, I find that it’s just not plausible for me at all times. And. That’s. Okay!

Life happens, and while I could wallow or even eye that damn towel that wants to be thrown in, I never will. I know myself well enough to realize that all I need is time. Time to attend to my family’s needs, time to organize and regroup, and time to let that excitement build again. When the dust finally settles the spark will return, and I’ll be happier for it. In my first year of being published, I put out seven books! No, it hasn’t happened again since, but I know it can, and that in and of itself is something to be excited about and strive for! In the meantime, I’ll allow myself to be human and take the time I need, knowing my readers will be there when I return. A great piece of marketing advice I received from a friend was “just write your next book,” but I think I’d like to add, “when you can.” Write your next book when you can! As a mother of three, the owner of a full-time business, and a part-time bookkeeper, adding those three little words takes away the pressure and leaves all the pleasure, and that’s definitely something anyone could get excited about! 

(Originally published on Tish's Two-Cents column for Gliterary Girl Media)