Saturday, August 5, 2017

Life

Zello Blog.

I have not posted for awhile. Life as it were. I've been busy living it. Parenting a teen, which is much different that BEING a teen or WRITING about teens. It's a whole new perspective and while I love my teen with every ounce of my being, it is also a challenge. Who knew! Ha!

I've also been on a whirl of jobs over the last year. Exactly one year ago I left a perfectly lovely full time job as a sales merchandiser when an opportunity came up to work in a high school as an EA. (Educational Assistant)  for the English Department. I thought I would use my writing background and flourish and work school hours and have time to create more words while making a difference in young people's lives.  Yeah. I lasted two weeks. Now that was not a light choice (leaving the job) and it was VERY embarrassing to pull the plug on it, but it was a HORROR for me and my emotional health. I simply was not prepared. I had no training and no guidance and the learning curve would have taken all my time. I had to learn the entire curriculum and also take on subjects OTHER than English. Like Social, which I didn't even like when I took it over thirty years ago. It looked like months of studying high school all over again, when I thought my evenings would be free to write books.  I took it all way too seriously and was drowning in feelings of ineptitude and helplessness and overwhelm. I felt like I was failing everyone I was dealing with and failing myself and realized I was wildly unsuited for this type of thing at this stage of my life. Whew. I'd though I was taking on something that would enhance my writing and it sucked everything out of me.  It was humbling and emotionally draining and did I mention, embarrassing! So I left quickly with the hope they were able to quickly hire the other person who interviewed for the job. From what I hear, it all worked out well for that person, and other than my bruised ego and lowered self esteem, life went on for everyone. I ended up quickly getting another temporary full time job (within days) back in the same industry I'd left to try the EA position.

So I worked full time for that company until the new year, and then found a part time job with a chocolate company, thinking the extra time to write would balance it out. Except I found that dealing with expired chocolate and a marketing company highly unsatisfying and frustrating and really disliked it. So I kept my ears and eyes open and fate led me back to the company that I originally left one year ago to try working as an EA. The person who replaced me as a sale merchandiser when I left got promoted and when I expressed interest, my old boss asked me to come back. A full circle as it were, and this time I go back with an appreciation for the job and the company. I'm grateful it worked out as it did.

As for the writing, well, I do have a wonderful YA proposal out on submission. I really love the story and had hopes it would find a home, but in the current market, with things as they are,  it may not. If it doesn't, well, I'll have to see where the journey takes me next.

I've had a great run with my six YA books pubbed with Sourcebooks. The first two titles were published over six years ago (and those two are still the best sellers). Unfortunately the last titles haven't done well in sales, and this makes a difference when trying to sell a new book.

I was pretty sad when I went into an Indigo book store last week and discovered that after carrying all my titles for many years, it looks like they've (Indigo) de-listed them from the stores. I took it as a real sign when I first discovered it, thinking it meant my days as an author are over. Cue sad music and teary eyes. At the time of the discovery, I was waiting to hear if I'd get my old job back and also waiting to hear from a couple of editors about the book on submission. It seemed like a SIGN.  The end of my book writing days.

Since then I've been offered the job. My son continues to be a teen. Life kind of keeps going on. I'm contemplating. I miss "being an author". I miss the book world. I miss writing all the time. But it's also hard. It's a hard industry to make it in. It's time consuming and it can be draining. But I move forward over the next couple of weeks, knowing I still have a couple of houses looking at my proposal. So I'm not done yet. I think the book is good, I do, and I think it could sell. But. It might not. And yet, I'll still be here. Living my life. Figuring it out. I've seen a lot of authors fade away over the last years. There's lots of new authors coming up. For some I guess, it becomes a career. For others it's a dream come true. And then well, I guess there's more dreaming to do. Life gets lived and moves on.

Whatever happens, I have to remember that I did what I set out to do. I published books. I had book signings and people read my work. Some loved the books, others not so much. None of it goes away. It just kind of becomes a memory. And memories aren't so bad are they? In the next couple of weeks I'll go back to a job that offers me many great things. I have books in my brain, pieces on my laptop in files. I still want to write. I have two women's fiction ideas that are patiently waiting for me. Life will take me places. I will make decisions, and decisions will be made for me. Sometimes we're in the driver seat, and sometimes we're just along for the ride.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Welcome to the 2017 TEAM PINK Scavenger Hunt. Featuring Author- SUSAN FAW

PINK!! 
One of my favorite singers! One of my favorite colors! And now I get to be on TEAM PINK for the SPRING 2017 YA SCAVENGER HUNT. Win/win. Yes!!!


You know how JayZ's always going off about how he has 99 problems? Well. I. Janet E. Gurtler have more. I have 


151.  That's right...151.


I am super happy to be hosting a fabulous author on my page! Her name is Susan Faw and here's more about her and her books!


MEET SUSAN FAW

Professional by day, book nerd and fantasy champion by night,

Susan is a masked crusader for the fantastical world. Championing mythical rights, she quells uprisings and battles infidels who would slay the lifeblood of her pen.

It’s all in a night’s work, for this whirlwind writer. Welcome to the quest.

Susan’s love of stories began before she could read or write. Her earliest childhood memories include a make believe game she played with her sister, creating and telling epic stories inspired by a picture chosen at random from a National Geographic magazine.
Susan spent her childhood summers reading and writing sometimes serious, sometimes humorous works of fiction, imagining the worlds beyond her walls.
Susan is an avid reader of literature, especially science fiction and fantasy. She loves to bring new worlds and fantasy adventures to young adults and inspire them to join her on her make believe journeys. 

You can find Susan at www.susanfaw.com, on twitter @susandfaw or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SusanFaw.


You can find out how it all began. Download the prequel novella, SOUL SURVIVOR, for free! 



SEER OF SOULS just won GRAND PRIZE for YA Fiction at Chanticleer on April 1, 2017!!




Seer Blurb:

The time for hiding is finished. The dead are restless. She is COMING...

Twins Cayden and Avery Tiernan have grown up in isolation on the fringe of the realm. Gifted with forbidden skills, they hide their growing magical powers. Ancient prophecies speak of the ones with the power to depose the queen.

To protect her throne, Queen Alcina scours the land for evidence of magic, while the darker force she serves threatens the land with chaos. She is not the only huntress however. Primordial seekers discover the twins first but before they can escape, the death of a queen’s guard puts the entire village in jeopardy. To save their town, the twins flee, only to be dragged toward an unknown destiny. 

Guided by her gift, Avery senses lies and treachery where others see only truth. Dare she trust her instincts? For Cayden, an irresistible voice whispers to him. Does it belong to the souls of the dead and are they calling him home?

Soul Survivor Blurb:

When sibling rivalry spills over into the land of mortals, the mortals lose. Great evil, spawn of the underworld, is poised to sweep all life from the planet, and only the twins can stop it. Jealousy, love, hatred and magic battle for the ultimate control of the souls of the world. Only one will be left standing, and if it is the wrong one, how will the world survive?

Exclusive Content:

A letter has surfaced from the battle front! Unfortunately it is written in an ancient language that I cannot translate. I could use your help with its translation!

Please, will you open it and advise me of the contents? I will need to know where to send the scroll though. Click on the link to join my mailing list and let me know if there is anything urgent in the letter. Somehow, I think the information is coded to keep the information from falling into enemy hands…

Yes, I want to help! CLICK HERE TO HELP!!


YA SPRING SCAVENGER HUNTERS!!


Link to the next member of TEAM PINK to collect the secret number


PATRICIA B. TIGHE






Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm Not Her Bonus - After the Book is Over- Graduation Scene





Bonus Scene for YASH Spring 2017-
APRIL 4-9, 2017

Almost three years after I’M NOT HER is over, Tess is graduating from high school and there are a few familiar faces joining her….      


SPRING YA TREASURE HUNT!!


On April 4th....


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Just Another Sunday. And A Bit About Books.


Sunday. That’s my fun day? Well actually it’s more of, that’s my cleaning day. But I don’t mind so much. The boys are out of the house, off on another adventure that involves cars and things I try not to involve myself in too much. My husband has a car collecting problem. For realz. But it keeps him busy and sometimes happy though just as often frustrated. But he has the teen to take along with him now. And to talk with about cars and car parts and car swaps. So. That’s good right? Yes. Yes it is. Because as mentioned, I try not to involve myself in it too much.

Enough about cars, now for my passion. Books. I read a few books over the last couple of weeks, all of them very different.  One of my favorite expressions is that no person ever reads the same book.  Meaning of course, that we all take different things from the same book, depending on our life experiences and many many other factors.

One of the books I read was a Sourcebooks YA title that recently made the New York Times Bestseller list. I was curious about what propelled it to that list and was browsing through my eBook reader because I’d already finished the two books on my bedside table. I was proud of the company that published 6 of my YA novels, and of course, a little jealous because, human.
Anyhow, the cover is fantastic.  Really really well done.   Find it on Goodreads

I enjoyed it and understood why it did as well as it did.  Very readable, unputdownable even. Many of the characters came alive so clearly and it incorporated a whole line-up of diverse characters without needing to point out that they were.  If that makes any sense. I  also liked the way the author remained a little objective in her story too, and think it worked well. It related in a very small way to the other book I just finished, The Glass Castle, which was completely different but also so very strong and SO VERY objective.
Anyhow, I enjoyed how the author of TIWE didn’t try to over explain the shooter’s (school shooting book btw) motivations too much other than some background and character building. I thought that was well done because so many times it seems we search and search for the why in these horrible tragedies and there really aren’t any. There’s maybe reasons, excuses but never a clear cut "why" when a person goes over the edge. How can you explain it? You can look for an answer, why, but it will never ever be clear cut.  

So, kudos to her and to Sourcebooks for an amazing feat!

I also really enjoyed The Glass Castle, which is non fiction and one of those books that makes you think for days and days after. I don't know why this book was never on my radar, as it's an older book and a popular NYT bestseller as well. Probably because it's not something usually in my wheel house. I've been reading a lot more books that aren't YA lately. There's some great books in different genres, but when I go back to YA, I'm always happy. 

The parents in The Glass Castle are so off the charts that it’s hard to read at times. It also made me think about how much I spoil my child. Which he may discuss with his therapist later in life. Right now I’ll just say, sorry little dude. There’s no perfection in parenting, fo shizzle.

Another book I read (I won’t say what it was because one thing I’ve learned as an author, is that I don’t want to say bad things about other people’s books because they are probably really fricking proud of them) bugged the crap out of me. As above, what doesn’t work for me, might be the best thing someone else ever read.  Anyhow, it was by a very famous author who is a brilliant writer, but it just BUGGED THE SHIT out of me. It started out so good, and I was so happy with it and then it went all wonkers and got off course and by the time it ended I was like WTF? But I did finish it, which means something and I have to admire the author’s writing.  So there’s that.
I also finished a YA that is the first in a series. Not my favorite book, by an author I usually love. It was good. I finished it, but I expected GREAT. Because. Reader expectation.

Anyhow. I could go on and on about books and thoughts but my upstairs is calling to me.
“Janet. Janet. Come and clean me.”

Damn you upstairs. I must go.