Yesterday I started taking you on my past journey's of my rationalization of being an artist and how that effects my friendships... today is kinda', well sorta' a continuation of yesterday.
Recently, my book has started to climb in sales. Folks are talking more about Courage of Fear and indeed even thinking about it after the pages are closed. You, the readers, are giving Courage of Fear incredible reviews... smiles. Sometimes, even, folks will take the time to hunt me down via the web and will write to me when they are reading Courage... I love that. Such clever little people you are. Sometimes you have questions about plot, sometimes something about the characters, some folks will tell me how much they love Courage and can hardly wait for my next novel . . . yet next time could i not have my characters curse? (I immediately think of poor lizzy--a character in Courage who indeed curses like myself)... sometimes they engage me in philosophies, sometimes they will go back through my blogs as they are reading Courage and will read the back story behind the different quotes and talk to me about those... and even in some cases I catch you all talking about Courage of Fear when you don't know I am around... that is the best! I will be lingering somewhere and someone blogs about it. I will come across a page on myspace and they have one of my quotes up in their status bar--although when you do this I really wish you would give me or Courage of Fear credit for the quote-- remember your artist must eat; or as I have said in prior blogs... Chase is calling!... Whether you give me credit or not, you and I know where it came from. Now I know this may sound a bit corny, but it coddles my heart to see you share me, my work, my philosophies... it validates you get it and more importantly, it is working... what I wanted to share through Angela's story is indeed effecting your life, creating positive change and you are sharing it. How grand is that? How flattering is that? How spiritual is that? You are validating the American Dream! No bull. No pretense. No getting in your face. No standing in a hall, mike to lips, jumping up and down to pump you up... just a girl sharing a story about a life lived. Cool, I tell you.
--Something many of you may not know cuz you may stick to my blogs and haven't wondered around my site and read "its all about me" section (which has some pretty funny and indeed true stories in it--good reads, btw) of my site... everything you see, touch, feel, experience with Courage of Fear is brought to you directly and solely through me and of course my Creator, imho. I invited God in to tell the story. I even fought with Him about Angela's direction... for several weeks on that one--I was like a spoiled child refusing to write. I just couldn't do it. There had to be another way. Literally I was beside myself with it. To the point I absolutely refused to sit at the computer and moped around my grandchildren in despair, frantically cooking and cleaning to fill the hours and occupy my time... that was until my daughter kicked me in the behind and said you know what you must do?... not knowing that exactly that had me in despair (kind of like that old expression if one person calls you an ass, you can shine it by but if two or more call you an ass you best put on a saddle and start whinnying kind of thing.) Grudgingly I had to write it and indeed they were both right. The ending is what most folks talk about as being the big surprise to them-- anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, what most of you might not know; The edits, yepper months and months; then years with a professional the pages passed between us via post. As the edits where happening I queried about 25 agents and publishers... got I think it was six request for reads (which based on the books is a darn good number ratio) One small publishing house offered me a deal. I declined it and sought no more based on my own research of first time authors and sales and control. I entered it in major competitions where it did extremely well. The cover? Again, me and the Big Guy. Oh, I tried to beg cover designers for pro bono... evidently Chase is calling them too... no go. I had never even been in photo shop cs before the cover... again me and the Big Guy had our discussions, He won... and with the help of my roommate's initial open here off I went. Printing? Yep, that's right. Distribution? Right again. Marketing? Yepper. . . So, every time a copy of Courage of Fear sells, every time you talk about it, every time you quote it, every time you share it. . . you are validating to all the world of the American Dream at its best . . . of the little run away that thought she could one day, despite all life's curves and hoops and obstacles; one day indeed she could be a writer! Indeed only in America! All of you, has made this happen... all of you! And unknown to you, every time you buy a copy, every time you share about Courage, every time you quote Courage, you give a life meaning... you affirm to the youths who lose their parents one day the nightmare will be behind you and indeed you will survive through it; you tell the runaways, there is love for you here; the teenage girls that keep their babies, that one day they can do it too; the women in abusive relationships it will indeed be better if you walk away; the single parents who flop exhausted from their days, that one day, indeed one day they will see the fruit of their labors; the homeless and hopeless who drank or shot-up their way to oblivion that there is another kind of high; those alone you say that faith indeed changes a life and can make things happen... because all of you did that for me... every time you purchase Courage of Fear, every time you share Courage, every quote you repeat; you did that for me! It is all there. In the pages and here. The American Dream. . . of faith and courage.
K, I am crying.. . I love this country... Where was I? Oh, brunch with a friend, yes...
Because all of you have made this possible. I want to do what I was taught. I want to give back. I want to give you all a chance to do something. Something that has never been done. I started to think of what can I do that has never been done? What is it I can do for my readers so they become not just a cyber-friend but a real live person that I can sit and have tea with and share? Where they can see me and ask me just about anything? Where they can become a part of the process and maybe see or experience the work involved or the inspiration they have become a part of?
In turn, I was thinking a lot lately about my friends, my real friends... you know? The ones that love me when I am there for them and when I am being an emotional basket case artist isolator. Just as I was thinking about that a friend shot me a note on facebook (now I have tried to get folks that like my blogs/books/stories to move over to my fanpage so I can kind of keep current with my real friends on facebook... yeah, right! That hasn't been very popular so I have had to dump my real friends, because my cyber-friends/fans are taking over-- well some of the real friends I have stayed in contact with, from my facebook page). I thought his contact was quite spiritual. I invited him to brunch to discuss our current projects.
We met at one of my favorite outdoor cafes, Swami's in Encinitas. My isolated self felt a bit uncomfortable on my trip down El Camino Real, thinking uhhhgggg... people... human contact. Yet my spirit truly lightened up when my eyes locked eyes with himself. We did the California hug and cheek kisses and shot out salutations on how good it was to touch base and see each other... it had been a long time (bless his heart, he has indeed invited me to several local parties; yet generally last minute where other plans were already in place and I could not join him... guilt). Indeed it was good to see him. He was one of the first people I met when arriving to California. We actually worked on a script together for bit. We have history in our journey's... which is really the best life has to offer a traveler.
We ordered our food... me my favorite strawberry waffle--the best ever at Swami's--and took our table outside in the front on the wood, raised patio. We talked a bit about his documentary he finished about a year ago and that it is now with a distributor. The waiter shouted out my name. My thick waffle and bacon... ooh and the fresh strawberries was laid before me.
Then, surprisingly to me my friend said, so now you are a famous, well-known author...
I shrugged and said not really.
He said no I have been following you... you have quite the following there is a lot of buzz.
I shrugged again and admitted I am just a girl.
I then asked him for his input on my new idea. I shared with him how I would like to do a contest for my readers to give them a minimum three days and two nights in the life of Angela (my protagonist in Courage of Fear). Half of the story takes place in Malibu and the other half takes place on Nantucket Island in Mass. I shared with my friend I would like to either get a mansion in Malibu (Angela and Jackson, her husband, had a mansion in the Malibu Hills--a truly beautiful, wonderful place.) Or maybe a few nights at the Self-Realization on the cliffs of Encinitas (inspirational book, inspirational resort.) Get BMW to donate in a cross promotion some leased auto's... a Z3 plays a pretty good role in Courage. Maybe share a Sunday brunch with them at the Sage Brush (it is my inspiration for the Joshua Tree in Courage of Fear). . . Sunday's are the days where the Sage is truly the most colorful... pretty much as Angela describes in Courage. Possibly get the person who was the inspiration for Culann, the Irish artist in Courage, to agree to do a dinner with them at the Ivy in LA, again in the story... and maybe a shopping spree on Hollywood Blvd or even Rodeo Drive of course donated through cross promotion... again, in Courage. Of course the way it would work is everyone would have to buy a book on a certain day ... or before... and then email me the receipts. We would then do a drawing--maybe even video it all for my blog... all expenses paid for US residents only.
My friend thought it was a smashing idea and we spent a bit of time tossing ideas back and forth.
Oh, it was grand and fun breakfast. Thank you, Dan; for loving me your little crazy artist friend--and getting me out... we even had a few chuckles before we went on to other topics... you know the normal things; the state of the economy, politics, other things we have in common and missed about each other's life.
It was a grand day. I miss my friends and all they bring to my life. The price of the artist.
btw, to all of you, I would love your input on this promo... I am open to all ideas! I think you are all still here... more actually cuz my google stats tell me my hits have gone from a thousand a day to over 1800 the past few days... you are here, right?
Well, again, have a grand day all... Peace.
To discover more of my writing journey and life in detail visit the "its all about me" section of my site.
have a grand day all. Peace.