White dimity curtains—with a windowpane pattern, of course—dance in the breeze at windows sporting red geraniums in boxes. At an antique spinet desk, a woman sits, her fingers flying over the keys of a Remington Rand typewriter—custom painted aqua, of course. And as her fingers do their dances, waltzing through delicate scenes and jitterbugging past the witty repartee, the author exists in a world only she can see—for now.
At last, the last page is finished. Perhaps she bundles the pages up and ships them off immediately. Or, on the other hand, maybe the story that has pushed her to the finish line so she can begin it prompts her to reach for a new sheet of paper.
And the next begins.
At some point, however, the pages make their way to a publisher who prints them into lovely books, ships them to eager bookstores, and tells the world of the exciting new novel just released.
Meanwhile, back at the little cottage with its picket fence, lilac bushes, and collie resting at the author’s feet, she types away her next adventure, oblivious to the world outside her own imagination.
The mailman comes, and with it, a nice little royalty check—affirmation that there were those who were as eager to read the book as she had been to write it.
If only it weren’t a daydream today.
Sorry, I need to embrace the fantasy for just another moment. Just one more. Just one.
Reality looks a little more like this:
I write—for hours. And just about the time I get to where I’m super excited about what’s coming, I have to stop. Why? Well, I need to share the sale Ashley has scheduled, or maybe I need to upload the quote images I made from last night’s work. I have questions for me on the Facebook page or in one of the groups. Five hundred (no exaggeration) new emails flooded my account just now. I have to separate the newsletters I want to read but might not get to from the questions from readers, requests for books for this fundraiser or that, and oh… now there are a dozen Facebook messages.
No joke. Not even a smidgeon of one.
And when all of that is done, well, there’s this new book coming out. And I’ve hardly mentioned it. Thankfully, I have a team of people who have volunteered to help with that. This fabulous group of ladies has banded together from literally all over the world to spread the news of my new releases (and often my sales).
But they’re so much more than a “publicity team” or “street team.”
These women became friends—not just of mine but of each other. We’ve supported each other through good times and bad. We pray for one another—often daily.
And I thought it was time that you met the ladies who spend their time helping me with sticky plot points, finding typos that several rounds of editing missed, praying me through difficult scenes (or entire books as was the case with Christmas Embers), and even cheer me on when I post things as I write them.
Some are part of a “spoilers” group. You can thank them for me not continuing Past Forward a few years down the road… and offing Chad to do it.
So, over the next two weeks, during the release of Will Not See, you’re going to meet the ones who were willing to let me put their names and faces out there.
Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you.
Alicia is one of our most active members. She’s always available for me to bounce ideas off of, and she has a solid idea of how marketing and blogging works, so she’s great with answering questions and getting the ball rolling when I’m lost in another book. Again.
I asked Alicia what she enjoys doing in her spare time and she said:
reading just about anything, blogging (haha), adult coloring, walking with dog, training dogs, editing (love it), proofreading, learning new things, gardening, and road trips. “
One of the things I asked the team to share was the coolest place each one had ever been. Alicia said,
The Coolest place I have ever been…abroad France (eons ago). In US probably Charleston, SC or more locally Sliding Rock and the surrounding area of Sedona.”
Among some of Alicia’s favorite authors are:
Christine Nolfi, Pat Conroy, L.M. Montgomery, and Lee Child. (rather eclectic, don’t you think?) She also said, “Okay, naming books might be easier!”
As far as the launch team, when I asked why she chose to join, Alicia said:
I loved each and every one of your books from day one…so joining was a no brainer ,and staying as it grew was also a no brainer. Couldn’t imagine never being on the team and I can’t imagine a time I wasn’t. “
The first book Alicia read of mine was Past Forward, but she added a bit after that question. She said:
The best one you have written (okay, we all know how I feel about Past Forward) is Christmas Embers. You did something amazing in writing that novel, and it showed in all areas.” (I blush. Thanks, Alicia!)”
Alicia has been with me as an advance reader long before I even had a launch team. I suspect she began back when I asked the advance reader team to read Tarnished Silver as I wrote it in anticipation of launch day.
One fun thing I did was to ask each team member to pick sides—to choose one character/book over another.
Alicia’s choices were as follows:
Alexa or Madeline: Alexa
Mac or Luke: Luke
Joe or Keith: Keith
Cassie or Kaye: Cassie
Wynnewood or Legends of the Vengeance: Legends
And when I asked which book in the lineup that she is most looking forward to, she chose:
Bread and Butter Notes—the first book in the Dyrehurst Mysteries. Cora Lea Dearing is one of my favorite new characters. And her housekeeper, Lew, is pretty awesome, too!
Alicia is a voracious reader and book reviewer. You can find her book reviews on Facebook at Avid Reader Book Reviews (coming soon to a website near you, too!)
There you have it! Stay tuned for the next one up… Emma!