My Halloween Book Signing/Reception.

I have a day job, you know. Most writers do. So, in addition to traveling to surrounding areas to represent clients, I’ve been burning the midnight oil, doing fun stuff. Putting the finishing touches on my novel SHAMEFUL.

Unfortunately, my tight schedule means I’ve had to let some very good Halloween blogging opportunities pass. But don’t worry, I’ve saved drafts. I may even be able to backdate them so they’ll fit neatly within the last few days. We’ll see.

BUT I cannot let this moment pass:

I am thrilled to announce that my law school alma mater-Thurgood Marshall School of Law-will be hosting my first book signing this Thursday, October 27th, 4-7 pm, at 3100 Cleburne, Houston, TX 77004. They’re even nice enough to throw in a reception! Other alumni authors will be featured as well, though I’m the only one representing the fantasy/paranormal genre–which is just right for Halloween.

And guess what? YOU ARE INVITED!

So, if you’re reading this and you’re in the area, I’d love to see you there. If you’re not in the area, tell someone who is.

Tweet it. Facebook it. Email it. Text it.

But whatever you do, please don’t let me sit at the table alone…twiddling my thumbs…wondering why no one loves me. πŸ™‚

Here is the Facebook invite. And here is a map.

See you or someone you know there!

Another 5-Star Review.

I’m feeling pretty good today.

Now, I get why people say to focus on the positives. In doing so the past few days, I’ve gone from feeling rather sh*tty to feeling like I can conquer the world.

T. Wilson posted a review to Amazon and Smashwords that makes me feel like I want to read my book all over again:

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ!,October 18, 2011

OMG! This book is awesome! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop until I finished it. It is so well-written and interesting that I know it will be a best seller soon. I was able to connect with the characters and fell in love with Remi, Franco, and Punch. There are so many twists and turns in this book that my heart raced throughout my reading of it. The author has a great imagination and it shows throughout this book. There were so many things that happened that I did not see coming. Normally I’m pretty good at figuring out the ending of books and movies, but this one caught me by surprise. I can’t wait to read the next book to find out what my guys are up to and to find out is Willow got what she wanted. Lol!

Great reading! I would highly recommend this book to a friend.

And here is another on Amazon from Bgreen2ncsu:

5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the sequel…,September 26, 2011

It is definitely a “pageturner” and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys something different. It was full of hot scenes with twists and turns that left me wondering what would happen next. Had an excellent plot that was written in first person making me feel like I was in the scene myself. I can only imagine what the sequel will look like!

Since I’ve been so hyped up over the reviews, I dropped the price from $2.99 to $.99 for a limited time! Halloween’s in a few days, so perfect timing, I think. [INSERT CREEPY LAUGH AT THE END OF “THRILLER”]

Have a wonderful day, yourself!

Things Going Right For An Indie Author.

It’s hard out here for an indie author to gain exposure. Read this post to learn why I decided to go this route.

But never mind the hardships.

This week, I’m focusing on the positive aspects of my publishing journey. A lot of things are not happening as fast as I’d like, but dammit there are some things going right! I’m celebrating that.

1. The paperback edition of Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book #1 is flying off the virtual shelves. Within the first week of its release on October 1st, my husband and I have sold twenty-seven copies. You read right 2 7! I don’t know how many paperbacks other authors sell within the same short period of time…and I don’t care. All I know is–THANK YOU! to everyone who bought mine.

2. People have been watching the promo videos for my books.

The video for Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul has been watched 233 times.

The video for Shameful (book will be released November 1st) has been viewed 52 times.

3. Online social networking has been a time-consuming, yet rewarding experience. My facebook fan page now has 189 “likes” with 33 people talking about it (whatever that means). I still do not understand how the new FB works, but I know my numbers have gone up, which has to be a good thing. Likewise for twitter. I now have 104 followers and I’ve only been tweeting for a few weeks.

4. I’ve also gotten some 5-star reviews. Gotta love that. I posted one yesterday. Here is another, copied straight from Smashwords:

“Review by: Damiane Banieh on Sep. 25, 2011 : star star star star star
WOW! This is a huge page-turner. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all the thought that went in to making it a nail-biting series. From the onset, I loved the fact that the writer effortlessly laid out her characters and then just allowed the characters to draw me in. New little tidbits of the plot just fall into your lap and the book is such a pleasant read that you just accept these premises as fact and anticipate what crazy turn will come next. The characters are sexy, intriguing, and honest — even in light of the fact that they are fantasy-fction. Not only do you want to believe that their lives are real, but there is also a part of you that longs to be a “fly on the wall” and dip your little “fly paws” into the buttermilk of thier lives. Don’t cheat yourself out of a great fantasy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gotta read this book!”

Thanks, Damiane! Good reviews are always awesome!

I’ve been told that I expect too much too soon and to just give it time. I have great books. The world will know soon enough. I’m hanging in there. Thanks for hanging with me!

 

5-Star “Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul” Review

Today was just one of those days.

I’ve been burning the candle from both ends. Staying up late. Waking up early. Downing energy drinks in between. Doing everything I can to spread the word about my book. Most of the time, I feel like it’s falling on deaf ears.

Let’s just say–marketing/promo is not the funnest part of being an indie author.

And on top of rearing my one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, practicing law, and keeping the house tidy so my husband will still want to come home–sometimes I think I’m kidding myself trying to do it all.

Well, what’s the problem, Dicey?

Glad you asked. It’s like this:

1. Everybody wants to read books from well-established authors who already have glowing reviews.

AND

2. With so many new authors, the queue of to-read books is sooooo long. Unmanageably so, for most people. Unless the book is written by an already-established author. Then it moves to the top of the pile. See #1.

I have to beg and plead for people to read my work. Then I give away e-copies to make it more convenient. I do it hoping they’ll get to it quicker. But who am I kidding? They have lives. And jobs. And other books to read. See #2.

Yes, I wrote the book for myself. But any artist worth her salt will want her work appreciated. That’s just the nature of the beast.

I’m human. So sue me.

No, don’t. I got enough court cases right now.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. I want to share my art with people. I want them to read it. I want them to enjoy it. Then I want them to tell others. And read my next work of art.

Simple enough?

Not really. See #1-2 above.

Even as I write this I’m thinking, what’s the point? No one’s going to even bother reading it.

#pimping aint’ easy.

So after all the self-doubting, self-loathing, whining and complaining I did today, I decided to focus on the positive feedback I’ve gotten. There’s enough out here to beat down an aspiring writer. Sometimes, you just have to ignore that mess and focus on what’s going right.

That’s what I’m going to do everyday this week.

That’s right! I’m going to post all the 5-star reviews I’ve gotten for my labor of love.

Am I tooting my own horn? You betcha. I have to do it because no one else will unless I do it first.

This is what TheMokaMommy had to say on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:

“Must read for vampire lovers!

Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul is the first of Dicey Grenor’s, The Narcoleptic Vampire Series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! If you love vampire novels then this is a must read. Willow the main character is a female vampire and her sexuality drips off her. You get completely engulfed in her life. She’s a vampire with narcolepsy…genius! It’s well written, and I felt like I was at Club Hades some nights! Not only are there vampires, other supernatural creatures make an appearance in this book. Be forewarned this book is for mature audiences…this isn’t your typical high school vampire romance…and thank goodness! The story is well written and after reading you find yourself wishing for the next book in the series. Definitely five stars!”

Thanks, TheMokaMommy! I needed that.

Immortal Night Vampire Series: The Anthology Of Vampire Books Volume 1 [Kindle Edition]

My debut novel Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book #1 is featured in Immortal Night: Vampire Anthology Vol. 1.

As a contributing writer for this awesome new vampire anthology, I am excited to report the kindle edition hit the #1 spot on Amazon yesterday.

That means it beat Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, The Wizard Of Oz, AND Shakespeare–which freakin’ rocks!

Check it out to read six short stories or introductory chapters from the hottest new indie authors in the vampire novel biz.

For only $.99.

By: Caden Thrace, Kim Faulks, Dicey Grenor, L.A. Freed, Nathan Squiers, and Rebeka Harrington.

It’s also available on Barnes & Noble Nook.

Steve Jobs’s Words Of Advice.

I always admire people who have awesome ideas that they work hard to see to fruition. People who love what they do and it shows. People who pour their hearts and souls in to living up to their full potential. Who go against odds and do what others think is impossible. Who create inventions so powerful, they change the world we live in. For the better.

Let’s see…

There was Edison, who gave us the incandescent light bulb. Hadaway, who gave the electric stove. Spencer, the microwave. Gorrie, the refrigerator.Β  Zworykin and Farnsworth, television. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) at the Dept. of Defense, the internet.

These are all things I cannot imagine living without. But the list goes on…

If you’ve been to Houston, TX during July, you know why I have to add Carrier’s air conditioner invention to my list of must-haves.

Also–whoever came up with Medela’s double electric breast pump, making it possible for me to feed my babies mommy’s milk for eight months each, is pretty friggin’ cool. And I’m super thrilled with whoever made my Hewlett Packard 3-in-1 printer too.

Of course, Gates founded Microsoft.

Aaaaaaaaaand Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer hardware and software industry with Apple.

I like reading about the lives and values of such icons to learn how they achieved their dreams. I study them to learn secrets to their successes.

So what makes someone like Steve become the legend he is? Well, he loved his work. And he had the courage to follow his heart and his intuition.

These are memorable quotes from Steve Jobs’s 2005 Stanford commencement address where he doles advice to new graduates:

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

That’s exactly why I started writing novels. I absolutely LOVE writing.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma β€” which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

That’s exactly why I write what I write. Regardless of who is uncomfortable with theΒ  controversial subject matter of my stories–I have stories to tell. And since I’m the one doing the writing, I get to decide what is appropriate and what isn’t. There’s freedom in discovering that.

Besides, there are plenty of others writing Christian fiction and self-help books.

Are you doing what you love? Or are you still listening to what others have to say about who you should be?

To read Jobs’s full commencement address or to watch the video, go here.

To find out about other inventions that make life a little easier, go here.

RIP Steve Jobs.

The Look.

The Look

Strephon kissed me in the spring,

Robin in the fall,

But Colin only looked at me

And never kissed at all.

Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,

Robin’s lost in play,

But the kiss in Colin’s eyes

Haunts me night and day.

Sara Teasdale

In any good story there’s going to be some tension between the characters. Believe me, you want this. It keeps it interesting.

Tension doesn’t necessarily mean the characters have to be arguing or fighting. There just needs to be some force between them that keeps the relationship alluring and fresh. Something between the characters that get their hearts beating faster and their blood pumping wilder in order for your heart and blood to be stirred. In order for a reader to connect with the story.

Like your stomach butterflies when you anticipate a first kiss. Or the stomach-sinking feeling when you’ve just learned life-changing news. Or the joy you feel when you discover you’ve been acknowledged and awarded for something you’ve poured your heart and soul in to. Or the adrenaline rush you get when you ride a roller coaster (so I’ve been told, ’cause I don’t ride). And yes, the tension could be in the form of anger or sadness directed at a friend caught lying or a lover caught cheating on you.

Tension could also manifest from something as subtle as the heat you feel on your skin when you glance across the room at the most beautiful person in the world and he or she is staring back at you with a look in the eyes that says they are thinking the same about you. Neither speaks a word and words are unnecessary to communicate the passion therein.

That’s the tension I want to illuminate today. And that’s why I love Sara’s poem. It says so much about how effective a look can be. About how much can be communicated. Lust. Sadness. Hope. Admiration. Surprise. Fear. Love.

I love this subtle tension so much that I write my characters to show emotions with their eyes…as much as they do with their mouths. Double entendre intended.