I’m a tomboy. We were homeschooled and lived on a large farm so – like it or not – I grew up playing guns & GI Joe’s as much as my brother grew up playing Barbies. I dig Star Trek, X-Men, action figures, and action flicks. Heck, even the romance novels I’ll willingly read have blood, tough chicks, and more death than kissing.
Clearly, like most if America, I don’t bat an eye when my daughter wants to play at being an Avitar (Last Airbender Style), or takes Fencing and Karate. I’m proud of my daughter’s wide range of tastes and the freedom to express those interests that the women before me have earned for her.
Heck, I’m clearly an all-around progressive kind of girl. I don’t care who you love, what you believe, or what you look like as long as you treat others with respect we’re cool. So imagine my surprise when I realize I’m guilty of gender pigeonholing.
It began like this:
My 8 year old daughter started watching My Little Pony a few months back. It’s safe to say its become an obsession. So when she saw the Tome of All Things Pony at Barnes & Nobles she had to have it. There was no way I was buying that thing so I made her save up the $22 herself. It took her a month and she about rushed the counter clerk – a kind looking early 20′s young man – to throw her money at him. And he was awesome. He rang up her purchase and took the crumpled bills with a smile. He knowledgeablely conversed with my child about her most beloved show, confiding in me that it was ‘a high quality show’ and that I’d be surprised at how popular it is with “young, college aged, men.” I nodded, politely, all the while thinking how much cooler I was. I mean – I like Star Wars and Sandman! I went straight home and joined the gaggle of people giggling at this subgroup of Pony fans – which, incidentally call themselves Brony’s (pronounced bro-knee).
And then I realized what I was doing. How is it fair that I, as a girl can enjoy high octane adventure but he, as a guy, can’t like a show that features magic and encourages compassion and consideration for others?
I was appalled at myself. But it’s not just me – in fact, the only one who didn’t think this guy was weird was my eight-year-old. Well, I’m here to say “Enough!” People should be allowed to enjoy things without having to worry about if it’s ‘too girly.’ I mean – what’s wrong with girly anyway? The Hippie Generation did a lot of good with Love and Peace. As did Ghandi. It’s just as okay to be ir like feminine things as it is to be or like masculine things. Period. No exceptions. Women and guys who like ‘girl’ things are not innately worse, lesser than ‘men’ or gay. They may be kinder, more thoughtful people in the end and that is exactly what I think this world needs.
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I’m an early person. This was molded into me at an early age by my parents – both of which did time in the military. In fact, my Dad used to say ‘if you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late.’ This made the teen year curfews particularly difficult, of course, and is the reason I’m standing in the dark outside a locked building.
Seriously, though, it’s become an issue. When we lived near Northern Virginia it was respectable, if not popular, to be a bit early. And then we moved to Houston. I got myself a few babysitting gigs and made some friends. I showed up on time. Everyone kept giving me these annoyed looks but I’ve been well trained and maybe I’m a bit dense – I figured it was something else, anything else. It took about a year of this, combined with my guests always being at least half an our late for me to figure it out.
And yet, here I stand, in the dark outside a locked building. Thanks Dad!
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Boy, have I got a treat for you!
This week, Nazarea Andrews upcoming book The World Without a Future released it’s awesome cover. This is my favorite kind of romance – post apocalyptic with lots of action, and tension that sizzles. Plus, it’s got ZOMBIES! (Because everything’s better with zombies, right?!)
The cover reveal comes with a pretty awesome give-away too – Nazarea is giving away a signed ARC, pack of trading cards, and 2 ebook copies (contest is international) to some pretty lucky people. You can find the contest here and add The World Without a Future here.
And now… for the really awesome 3-part prequel book trailer!
Posted in Books, Writing | Tagged ARC, book release, book trailer, contest, cover reveal, romance, zombies | Leave a Comment »
My daughter – she’s 8 – is an artist. She spends hours drawing, her free time creating stories, and she loves it. And when she sees me create art, she wants to do the same. When I’m at writer’s meetings she asks to come with me or to have her own, when I’m formatting ebooks she wants me to turn her work into one. And recently, I did.
Like most new authors, Jade’s sensitive about her work. Critique, no matter how delicate, isn’t handled well. And she assumes instant success. These traits aren’t uncommon, and there are many times I think the writer’s process is truly about overcoming them. Learning that the negative can be good (even if it is still painful), coming to understand that success is never as easy as “build it and they will come.”
Jade wrote a picture book, I scanned it and turned it into a simple epub. You can buy it directly from the website I made her as a digital download for all of 99₵.She was aghast to learn that that’s pretty standard for a traditionally published author, and stumped why people didn’t flock to buy it after I alerted Facebook to its existence (although, to their credit, her Grandmama and Sissis did).
Jade didn’t, of course, get criticism. It was perfect from the start, and hearing anything else would send her into fits. And that was, of course, her first rookie
mistake. She didn’t realize that the characters were flat. She wouldn’t even think of changing her writing style so her 12 page picture book was less dialogue and more…picture-bookish. While her work was incredible for an 8 year old, it didn’t have mass appeal.
I intentionally let her make one other rookie mistake, one I see a lot of in the self-publishing/e-publishing/indy world. She built it, and waited for ‘them’ to come. “They” don’t exist. And they will never come. You can’t sell your work without having someone to sell to and, oddly enough, they aren’t waiting by your front door to see if you’re done yet. They don’t even know you exist or that they want to know you exist. You have to make them aware of that, and a couple of Facebook posts is never, ever going to be enough.
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So, yes, I did write a short story you can pop over to www.chanteehale.com to read it. I’m hoping to have a chance to work on a longer work this summer, so that may be it for the shorts for a while, and that’s assuming that my hunt for the ultimately awesome RN job drags on for a bit.
I’ve also been doing a bit of ebook formatting and two titles I’m especially excited about including Dax Varley‘s new Young Adult novel Spellbound and Determined (which should hit the e-shelves shortly) and Nazarea Andrew‘s New Adult Contemporary Romance This Love, which ya’ll don’t get to see until June. You all know I’m a big fan of Nazarea’s work – but I actually don’t read contemporary romance. When N~ told me about the novel, I asked if anyone got killed or if there was magic and was sadly told “no.” So imagine my surprise as I’m trying to format the damn thing and keep getting sucked into the story (grrrrr). Did not make the job easier! But let me tell you – you romance readers are in for a BIG treat when This Love comes out!
But in the meantime: what about this blog?
Well, I’ve been given leave to post a run about E-book Formatting over at Ink in Motion‘s blog, so that’s where I’ll be for the next five weeks, starting May 24th. Yes, I freelance through them now, so I suppose it’s a dubious honor (which went something like: “so… you want to do something with the blog?”) but there’s lots of good stuff over there including what to expect from a formatter, and what you should do to prepare your manuscript for formatting.
Pop on by, I’d love to hear from you over at Ink in Motion’s Blog!
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It’s getting late, folks. By the time this posts – with a bit of luck and a life-time worth of studying – I’ll be graduating nursing school in a week.
Over the past month and a half I’ve led you through the sort of random train of events that culminated in my own foray into the industry of publishing, and how I began an ebook formatting biz. I hope it was insightful, somehow. If you look at it sideways you’ll probably even see the thought that connected all those happenstance posts and the events that went with them.
I have no clue what the next post will be, but hopefully it won’t be too long. Thanks for listening, and thanks to Nazarea Andrews (whose Edge of the Falls is still doing spectacularly well, and whose New Adult Fae Romance comes out in August, Georgia McBride (whose book Praefatio should come out soon), Melissa Stevens (covers look awesome!) for being your awesome selves, and my hubby who holds down the fort at Ink in Motion while I go crazy with finals.
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My stomach flips every time I think this, and I’ve been thinking it a lot: almost there.
I’m in my last 8 weeks of nursing school. I’ve had my last clinical orientation, my last first exam, my last Simulation Lab, last care plan, and I’m looking forward to the last day of class, my last HESI final. And I’m terrified.
There is, quite honestly, no hell like nursing school. Unlike other grads facing a bright future and starting to relax as the end comes into sight, nursing students are on the edge of their seat, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
All it takes is one exam gone wrong, One care map messed up, and you’re done. Not, ‘darn, I’ll have to take that class again’ done but ‘get back to us in three years and start from scratch’ done.
And yet, amidst it all (probably because of all the stress) I am dying to write. I think a short story’s brewing, folks. Probably the next segment in my Silver Skies shorts…
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