My Author Rebranding: Navigating the Jungles of Change

Happy 2017! I haven’t posted here in ages, but now that a new year and new wave of energy has arrived, it’s time to get this blog active again.

I’ve been going through the process of rebranding my author name for some time now. I mentioned this on my author Facebook page, Twitter, and Youtube channel (you can check out the video here), but I haven’t yet done a blog post to officially make the change, so here it is: After much thought, I’ve decided to switch genres.

Knowing Myself as an Author

In case you can’t tell, I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis as an author. All you have to do is look at this blog. Do I write fiction? Am I a self-help author? A lifestyle blogger? I have a huge spectrum of interests that I’m passionate about, and it’s taken a few years to start making sense of my vision for my career and life.

When I first started writing, I didn’t have any ideas about what sort of writer I’d be. I wasn’t even aware of genre. I knew that some stories were about murder or monsters and others were about high-school romance, but I knew nothing about author branding. I therefore had no plan for my career. I was just writing my book because I loved the story, and when it was revealed to me that I’d written a contemporary romance, I thought, great! Romance is a top-selling genre.

What I didn’t realize was that I’d be expected to continue writing contemporary romance, and if I wanted to write my other stories, I’d have to start over with a new pen name. I didn’t like that. Trying to build a following on social media is hard. As I went through the process of learning about the industry, I began to realize I might have made a mistake.

My main goal had always been to focus on subjects that were closest to my heart: the spirit world, the afterlife, aliens, alternate dimensions, space travel, time travel, monsters, and so on. I like the big stuff. The crazy stuff. Stories that keep you thinking after they end. So when I lost my book deal, I thought it could be a good time to change direction.

My New Genre: What the Hell is It?

I haven’t faced the daunting task of trying to write a blurb about the series I’m working on now, which follows a group of survivors through the apocalypse and beyond. I’m calling it a fantasy with elements of science fiction and romance. It has some typical apocalyptic juiciness you would expect from such a story. At its core, it’s really about an intense connection between a group of people who experience the unimaginable together. They slowly put together a shocking bigger picture that continues to grow from there.

I talk a little bit more about it here.

The Law of Attraction and Happiness with Writing

I’m starting to accept that I’m a slow writer. I took seven years working on my first book. Did I end up with something I’m proud of? Yes. But at that rate, I’m only going to complete a few more books before death. I’m working on speeding up, but I also need to make this the priority in my life if I want to live the dream.

Then again, I’m already living the dream in some way. I love my characters. I love the adventures they experience and how those experiences make them grow and change as people. I love watching them learn. I enjoy witnessing them go through joy, grief, falling in love, or sometimes, even dying. Not every writer is blessed enough to enjoy the experience at the level I do. So while I haven’t found the full dream in life yet, I still feel grateful.

What the Future Holds

I hope to get a solid draft of book one within a few months. I’m not quite ready to reveal the title yet, but I’m getting there. I’m going to be giving it my full effort. Then, maybe some beta readers. I’m glad to be getting involved with the writer community again. I’m navigating the jungles of change, and I’m becoming the person I was meant to be.

To my future readers: I love you. Please exist. Please find me. Please let me provide you with stories you’ll enjoy. Thank you.

Happy 2017 everyone!

Andi

Writerly Wednesday: Sorry for Vanishing

Hi guys! This #WriterlyWednesday, I want to apologize for ignoring my blog.

A lot has been going on. I’m going hard at the third rewrite of my new romance, which now has a working title: Since Vientiane. This story has all the elements I love: travel, serendipity, hot chemistry, and plenty of color. I wanted to take some of my own experiences in Southeast Asia and twist them into something even better. It still has a long way to go, but it’s a solid book now, which is exciting!

I’ve been brainstorming a lot of new ideas I’m not sure how to get into just yet. This is a strange time in my life. Removing myself from the dating scene has been a valuable experience that has given me new perspectives. It’s a lot to process, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Processing, thinking, growing, praying, expanding, brainstorming–and working my ass off so I can build the life I want.

I hope to put out a lot of entertaining stuff for you guys, but the process is slow and frustrating. I have so many projects planned that I could work 24/7 for the next decade and still only put a small dent in what I want to do. And that’s just when it comes to the books.I also want to blog, not just to promote my books but to have the chance to help people in some small way.

You guys come here and read my blogs every single day, and that makes me happy. Thank you for your support. I hope you’ll hang in there and give me the chance to get back into this one day soon.

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Check me out on Goodreads

Get Edge of Something More, my first novel from Swoon Romance

Writerly Wednesday: Stalling and Revving Up

As I enter my second month of having a book on the market, the world stalling comes to mind. When you first release your book, it’s all excitement, big dreams, and blog tours. You’re getting interviewed, your book is getting attention, and then … nothing.

Stalling Out: Entering the Dead Zone

There comes a point when you’ve already recommended (*cough* begged *cough*) everyone you know to buy your book, and there’s no one left to ask. You’re blogging, tweeting, using Facebook, posting on forums, and doing everything else you can think of to remind people that you do indeed have a book for sale. Yet, sales are slumping. You’ve begun stalling out, and every time you check your Amazon page and see a worsening sales rank, your dreams of success begin to look more like nightmares of

dawn-nature-sunset-woman

Want to learn who your true friends are? Publish a book.

failure.

What if no one buys your book? What if sales get so bad that no respectable publisher in the industry dares take a chance on you again? What if you fail completely?

All of these fears are valid. It’s not like you’re a big-name author with offers to appear on numerous talk shows. If you’re like me, you have ONE book out. One. And while marketing a book is and always will be a continual work in progress, you also have a day job. Maybe you have a family, or a partner, or some form of a social life. And on top of all that, you still have to accomplish the most important thing you will ever do as a writer: finishing your next book.

Revving Up: Kind of Like Stalling Out, but Fancier

The truth is that I have no idea how to sell books. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two in time, but it’s all a huge experiment. However, I know the most important thing I can do right now is work on my next book. I stalled, revved my engine, and now I’m 25K into a new romance. I’m in love with the characters. The setting thrills me. When I’m writing it, the words flow naturally. I had the same feeling while writing EDGE OF SOMETHING MORE, and while it might not be a best seller just yet, I still believe in it.

Happy #writerlywednesday everyone!

Writerly Wednesdays: Cultivation

This is my first attempt at a #writerlywednesday! I’m going to aim for twice a month. Sometimes, the world of copywriting calls, and I have to focus on maternity clothing or bail bond companies. Today, I got to write about Burlington, Vermont, and how amazing it is there. I love my day job. It’s like traveling. I’d still rather spend my time writing novels, and whenever I can, that’s what I’m thinking about.

Word of the Moment: Cultivation

I’ve been abusing this word lately. I want to cultivate. I want the visions to become clear, prayers to be answered, and the path to make itself obvious.

nature-sunset-person-woman

What are you cultivating?

I want something to continue to fruition and explode all over my world. I want to write books—so many books.

Romance Stuff: A Sexy Travel Adventure

I started a new romance novel this month. I was working on the paranormal love story, but I kept getting the nagging feeling that this wasn’t the time. It’s one of the ideas I’m most excited about, but it’s complicated. I want to make sure I get it just right. There’s going to come a time when I’m flooded with inspiration for it, I’ll just have to reconnect with the muse.

I started thinking about my trip to Asia. As I mentioned in my blog about packing light for Thailand, I didn’t bring a camera along on my trip. The memories are getting further in the distance. I don’t want to lose them, so why not use them to influence a few blogs–or a new book?

This was one of those instances when I just suddenly saw it. Sometimes I see a single character like that, or a scene, but this time I saw the whole story. Probably because I had my real-life experiences to base it on. The characters will follow a similar path through southeast Asia, but I won’t say more, because it still has a long way to go.

Happy #WriterlyWednesday everyone! 🙂

Andi