Cemetery Tours Release Party

Last night’s release party for Cemetery Tours was a huge success!  We sold all of the books, ate all of the cake, drank most of the wine (I still have one bottle left over for me!), and all in all, had a fantastic time.  I have so many people to thank for that, but mostly my mother.  She really helped me put it all together, thought of everything that I forgot, and hired a fantastic interior decorator to help set everything up!  My friends, Bill and Brittany, bought the most amazing cakes with the cover of the book printed in icing.  I’m guessing they were delicious.  I didn’t get to eat anything!  I did get two glasses of wine, though, and probably ended up making a total idiot of myself.  Oh well.  It was my party, I could drink if I wanted to.  And I did.

Here are a few of the pictures!


I just love how the spine turned out!




My family ❤


The Wind Trail Publishing Team! Author and Graphic Designer, Benjamin Durham! I can not thank him enough for the amazing job he did on the cover design!


Me and Jessica! One of my favorite people in the entire world!


The cake! Isn’t it awesome?!

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High school friends and our band director! The tall guy with the dark hair is my author friend, Stephen Harrison. You can check out his book here: http://www.amazon.com/AcaPolitics-Novel-College-Cappella-ebook/dp/B00607KPD4/ref=la_B00699W1VC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380945238&sr=1-1


How (Not) to Plan a Party When You’re On a Budget

As you may or may not know, I am hosting my very first release party for my very first novel, Cemetery Tours!

(Insert obnoxious self-promotional web links here: https://www.facebook.com/CemeteryTours )

Whenever I go to plan a party or a baby shower or a bridal shower, I always think two things.

1) This will be so much fun!

2) This will be so easy!

Wrong and wrong.

Okay, so it has been fun.  Lord knows I love planning parties, especially so close to Halloween when I get to make weekly trips to Party City, pretending to be on serious business mission but secretly eight years old again and taking in every bit of all the Halloween music and decorations and costumes and fun.  But it has also been stressful and a lot, a LOT of planning and budgeting, both of which I apparently suck at.  (Grammar people, leave me alone!)

Now that the party is drawing nigh, I thought I’d share a bit of my infinite wisdom.  Today’s topic: How Not to Plan a Party When You’re on a Budget.

Note: These aren’t issues that necessarily relate to me or my party planning.  But they are good to acknowledge.

1) Invite everyone on your Facebook list and assume most of them won’t come.  People like parties.  People like food.  People like books. People will come to your party.  Even people you don’t know!!!

2) Tell everyone that they should bring their kids because you’re going to have arts and crafts.  This doesn’t work if you don’t know how many kids are coming, how old they all are, and it especially doesn’t work if you can’t think of a good craft suitable for all ages.

3) Go out of your way to plan a fun, casual, low-key release party and then spend every dime of your paycheck on a lot of decorations, candy, and things that only sort of remotely relate to the book and the party.

4) Open yourself up to temptations like State Fair tickets, cheap Halloween movies that you loved as a kid, the newest Nicholas Sparks book, and maybe, kind of sort of preparing yourself to finally get that tattoo.

5) Buy about five liters of every different kind of soda because you’re not sure which kind your guests are going to want.  This is not only not-budget-friendly, but also wildly unhealthy and sugary.

6) Wait until the last minute to order your books from the printer so that you have to pay for a lot of books to be rush-delivered to your doorstep (Mine should arrive Wednesday).

7) Have your friends offer to help you out with party stuff, but then let your controlling, obsessive compulsive nature get the better of you and go ahead and do everything yourself anyway.

8) Instead of buying things you actually need for the party, go ahead and spend $40 on a new hair straightener because your sister (who, by the way, already has straight hair) took the one you used to use away to college.

A Writers Life For Me

This last week has been super busy, but last night, I finally found some time to get back to writing.  I have three novels in the works and an idea for one more that I am really excited about.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I am something of a commitment-phobe.  It is really hard for me to just pick one story to work on and stick with it.  Alas, that is how the creative mind works.

I do need to get serious about prioritizing my time, however.  I really want to be able to release my next book, hopefully as early as next spring.  I am fairly confident I will be able to accomplish this.  I’m just not sure which one it’s going to be yet.  As of right now, I’m pretty sure it will be the sequel to Cemetery Tours, since that’s the one I worked on last night and it’s also the one that’s been in my head the longest.  My writer friend also thinks it would be a good idea to release it instead of starting a brand new series.  He’s really smart, so I’ll probably end up taking his advice.

I realized last night that one of my very favorite things about writing is that you can have everything planned out in your head about the way your story is going to go and about what’s going to happen, and yet your characters can still end up surprising you.  I think a lot of people are under the false impression that the author is in total control of what happens in the story.  It’s so far from true.  The characters that we create have to act as we wrote them to act, not how we want them to act.  For example, last night, I discovered a whole new serious side to one of my characters that I really didn’t know existed until I wrote this one particular scene.  That might sound a little crazy, but it’s true.  You can never predict just how a scene or a character is going to play out.

Aside from that, I’m really just waiting for September 17!  I’m going around and passing out my little post cards with all the information on it, hoping to get the word out a little more.  I also bought the first of several prizes for the release party that I’m hosting!  I really can’t wait.  I think it will be a blast!