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8 posts from August 2010

08/25/2010

Underwhelmed

You've seen those ads on facebook I'm sure. The one that assured you companies can not wait for you to try their product and write reviews. The bonus is whatever product you test and review you get to keep. A long long time ago, before Al Gore invented the Internet, I joined some kind of handyman club. It came with a magazine with lots of good information. Along with the first copy of the magazine was a chance to join their review team. Let me just say here that I love tools. Hand tools, power tools, antique tools. So, I thought hey cool, they send me a new cordless drill or a table saw that would be freakin awesome. I probably didn't think freakin, I don't think that word was invented yet, but you get the picture. So with dreams of free power tools in my future I signed up and waited anxiously for my new tools.

Here's what they sent me for my first review.

Sanding_block 

In case you can't identify it. It's a sanding block. Basically it's a sponge with a piece of sandpaper glued to one side. Now don't get me wrong, sanding blocks are handy tools to have, but they cost about 2 bucks, so it wasn't like I was leaping with joy to receive one in the mail. And seriously, what kind of review can you write about a sanding block.

The new Acme sanding block is one of the finest I've ever used. The sponge is soft and protects the delicate skin of my fingers from damage as the sandpaper smooths the surface of my work with a gentle grinding sound.

I used the block, but I'm not sure I wrote the review. I was very depressed over the whole idea of reviewing a sanding block. Maybe I should have stayed with it. It would have been great writing practice.

Have you looked forward to something only to be underwhelmed when it finally arrived?

 

08/24/2010

It's National Waffle Day!! oh and my birthday

So let's celebrate National Waffle Day by bringing me waffles for my birthday.

Let's see. Waffles for breakfast.

Waffle sandwich for lunch.

Waffles and gravy for dinner.

And a waffle cone for dessert.

Feel free to stop by with your waffles any time during the week. 

In another note, It's also Vesuvius Day. The anniversary of the day Mr. Vesuvius buried Pompeii under tons of lava and ash. I suppose we could incorporate this into waffle day by building a waffle volcano and letting syrup pour down the side to bury the eggs and bacon beneath. 

Um, Happy Vesuvius Waffle Birthday everybody.

08/22/2010

Killer Nashville Notes

Killer Nashville is over for another year. This was my first trip and I really enjoyed it. I met some great people and if I managed to make it home with all my business cards and swag, I hope to connect with them online so we can get better acquainted. Coral, if you're reading this email me. I lost you after the Jeffrey Deaver interview. Anyone that I met up with, that doesn't hear from me should stalk me on facebook or twitter because I suck at keeping track of all the cool cards that I pick up.

I did my first author panel. I didn't embarrass myself. I didn't fall out of my chair or trip on my way to the front of the room. I didn't spill my beverage or knock anyone's books off the table. For me, I call that a rousing success. The guys on the panel, J Michael Orunduff, Alan Ansorge, Bill Moody, A. Scott Pearson and our moderator, Don Bruns, didn't have any idea what kind of danger they were in. I'm glad to be able to report that we all survived. We had a great crowd. I'm sorry it wasn't bigger, but our room was about three miles away from the rest of the conference. There may still be some attendees wandering aimlessly through the halls of the Marriott looking for us. I hope someone finds them before they run out of food or water.

I had a really good time. Hope to meet up with some of my new acquaintances at Bouchercon by the Bay in San Francisco.

Here are some random thoughts on my first trip to Killer Nashville.

Random thought #1--With a look, wink, smile or simple tip of the hat, Southern men have the ability to make a woman feel beautiful. This is a talent that should be cultivated worldwide.

Random thought #2-- Clay Stafford, Beth Terrell-Hicks and all of the volunteers that make Killer Nashville happen are some of the nicest people ever and do a great job with their writing conference.

Random thought #3-- Killer Nashville is suffering from a few growing pains. The volunteers did a great job of making things work anyway. It's a great problem to have.

Random thought #4--Booksellers are some of my very favorite people

Random thought #5--Jeffrey Deaver is a very funny guy. Really enjoyed hearing him speak.

Random thought #6--Don Bruns has a lovely singing voice.

Random thought #7--Sperry's where we had the conference dinner serves fantastic food, but the room was way to small for our group. Just another sign of growing pains.

Random thought #8--I love sitting around visiting with other writers. Published, self published or unpublished, it's all great.

Random thought #9--Graham Brown is very entertaining, will have to try and get him to guest blog.

Random thought #10--I can't believe how tired sitting, talking, listening and buy books can make you. Maybe I'm getting too old for writing conferences. 

08/16/2010

Picking up Strays

I come from a long line of rescuers. Kittens, bunnies, puppies, I've rescued them all. My first rescue came when I was about five years old. I saw my cat carrying something that looked like a baby bunny in it's mouth. I took it away, discovered it was just a mouse and handed it back to the cat. The mouse thought that was a terrible plan and promptly bit me. I became my doctor's first mouse bite victim. I don't know whether he ever had another.

My mom had the best rescue story. We had a cat that went missing. My mom and dad adopted Niki before I was born and she was a treasured member of the family. She was also a notorious slut and a couple of time a year after a brief disappearance, she blessed us with a litter of kittens. One time she left and didn't come back. My mom was worried sick. Her first baby was missing. She walked the neighborhood calling her name, she talked to the neighbors. She might have placed an ad in the paper, still no Niki.

One day a filthy, tattered, half starved kitty showed up at our house. Mama cried with relief. She grabbed the wayward Niki and carried her inside. She bathed and dried her. Tempted her with treats and rushed her to the vets office to make sure she was okay. She spent a great deal of money that we probably didn't have to save her precious Niki and the cat ate up the attention. And then a few days later, Niki walked up to the door looking as sleek, fat and satisfied as she always did after one of her excursions.

Mom had rescued the wrong cat. I don't remember keeping the usurper, but I'm sure my mom found it a wonderful home. That poor bedraggled stray hit the jackpot when he met my mom.

08/12/2010

Writers and Internet Dating

I tried an online dating service. I wanted a date. Sheesh, give me a break okay.

I must say that it's improved a hundred percent since the last time I gave it a whirl way back in it's infancy. See, the first time I tried it, I was doing research for a story. I posted a real profile, used my real photo and hey if I'd met someone, that would have been cool, but I wasn't invested in the process, I just wanted to see how it worked. I got hit on by twelve lesbians and six detroit gangbangers. My profile specifically said I was a woman looking for a man. Sorry ladies, nothing against you, just not the way I roll. My profile also noted that I was looking for a white guy. Nothing against interracial relationships, but my track record is pretty bad without any extra roadblocks thrown into the mix. Needless to say I wasn't impressed with the results and kind of lost interest in the whole story idea.

A while back I decided to give it another shot. This time seriously looking for someone. A friend, a date, who knows. The possibilities are endless and lord knows I spend more time in front of my computer than out around real people so maybe that was the answer. I must say the process is much improved. I met and chatted with maybe 15 or 20 guys. None were in the geographical area that my profile mentioned, but that wasn't really an issue. It was going well, and I met a guy that I wanted to get to know better so we retired to the relative privacy of Yahoo Messenger to continue chatting.

I'm not sure Internet dating is a good choice for writers. I mean, we chat with strangers all the time. It's our job. Yeah, the strangers are mostly in our heads, but they have real conversations and love interests and fights. In our world, they are real people. So I'm chatting with my new friend, and a few days in he dropped the L word. I freaked. We'd been chatting on the internet for only a few days. I couldn't type myself away fast enough. Then I began to wonder if it was my fault. Did I give this nice man reason to think that's what I wanted to hear? Did my words paint an unclear picture of our budding friendship? I weave stories from thin air all the time. Did I write myself into that situation? Maybe writers should be banned from Internet dating anyone except other writers. Then at least the field would be even. What do you think? Have you Internet dated? What was your experience like? Apparently it's working for people. If it worked for you tell us about it in the comments section. Or if it failed spectacularly and you'd like to share, we'd love to hear that too.

08/10/2010

Was it Karma or just bad luck?

I was over at Tawna Fenske's blog, Don't Pet Me I'm Writing, yesterday. If you haven't been you should drop by, I promise you will laugh. Anyway, yesterday she blogged about Dog Poo Karma.

Dog Poo Karma works like this, if you don't pick up after your pup, at some point, you are going to trod in someone else's derelict poo. If you don't believe this, read the post and comments section.

I don't have a dog poo tale, but one of the comments mentioned someone getting bird poo bombed and that made me remember a story. No I didn't get bird poo bombed, but the comment reminded me of a story.

Pictures this, a ladies high school track team on a mandatory field trip to the University of Missouri to witness a Lady Tigers indoor track meet. I really, really sucked at track and on top of it, thought watching one was slightly less exciting than watching grass grow, but it was mandatory, so I was there even though it was the Day of Prom

It was a beautiful May Saturday and our gaggle of high school girls were walking through campus to a restaurant for lunch. We had to walk between the dorm buildings and that was cause for much preening and prancing, because there were college boys yelling and whistling at us. We were hot. We were rocking our Candi's shoes and parachute pants.

As we pranced and preened for the yelling collegians something squished onto my head. I was startled. My teammates let out a collective gasp. Then something started running down my face.  That was cause for a get it off, get it off, get it off moment even though I'm not normally a girly, get it off, get it off kind of girl. 

What plopped onto the ground from my head was an ice cream cone. Normally I would have thought this was funny. I mean seriously, some guy (you know it was a guy) dropped an ice cream cone out of a eight story building and it landed on my head. What are the odds? It should have been funny. But it wasn't, because like all the other giggling, preening, prancing girls in my gaggle, my hair was already done for prom. All it lacked was the application of flowers. This was a disaster of unimaginable magnitude for a self conscious 16 year old. Doomed, I was Doomed. I still remember standing in the bathroom with my head under the hand dryer trying not to cry, because I didn't want my face to get all blotchy. It was my junior prom dammit.

Here's where the Karma question comes in. What could I have possible done in my 16 short years that deserved an ice cream cone on my prom hairdo? 

Has Karma ever slapped you around by mistake? 

08/05/2010

Reaching Beyond the Borders

How do you build a readership? Agents tell you to start a website even before you are published. So I started KdWrites. Step One--Check

Next start a blog. Talk about whatever you want. Let people know who you are and what you do. If your blog is entertaining you can gain readers. So I started KdBlog.  Step Two--Check

Get into social media. Get your name out there. Make friends. Reconnect with old friends. So I opened a Facebook account, KD Easley, and a Twitter account, KdWrites. Step Three--Check  Then I took it a step further and joined Crimespace, Goodreads, Grouply and AuthorsDen. These sites skew to readers and that's my target audience. Step Three point one--Check

I've joined listservs for writing groups like Sisters in Crime and the Guppies. If you google my name, the names of my books or the names of my website or blog, the results come up with me. All Me! Quite validating to wander around the internet and find yourself. If you're feeling down, jump in and try it. So we'll call that Step Three point two--Check.

So, I've followed the guidelines. I've got my name out there. I'm making friends. I'm talking about books, commenting on other blogs. And if I'm not careful I can spend all my time flitting from site to site and never have any time to write. But here's the Question...Does it sell books?

Yes...and No.

I have sold a few books through my online contacts. I've made friends with some readers and that's been wonderful, but mostly it seems I've built a large incestuous group of writer friends. We talk about each other's books, we blog about each others books, we visit each other's blogs, we interview each other and it's all a great deal of fun, but we seem to be preaching to the choir. We're all writers and that means we are all readers, but it's a fairly small group of people considering the size of the online community and it doesn't seem to get our work out in front of readers that aren't writers and I for one don't know how to fix that. What am I missing in my social networking that will break me free of my tiny little corner of the writing world and send me out beyond the borders where the rest of the readers live?

Tell me what we need to be doing differently. Joe Konrath has done it brilliantly so I know it can be done. Any ideas KdBloggers?

08/04/2010

Come Visit over at Writers Who Kill

Hi guys,

Author E.B. Davis interviewed me over at Writers Who Kill. This is part two of the interview. Drop in and leave a comment. A winner will be drawn from the comment pool and they get their choice of a signed copy of Murder at Timber Bridge or Where the Dreams End.

Come on over to Writers Who Kill.