This isn’t my typical post. You aren’t going to find my usual snarkiness and sarcasm. What you will find that this is a touching moment for me that I think many writer’s will understand.
Today is the first birthday of my Publisher, Second Wind Publishing. I know, it’s probably not a big deal to you, but it’s a huge thing for me because I have been part of this company since the day the idea was tossed around. It’s been an incredible, life changing journey and I am forever grateful to Mike for making it all happen.
Browse around a little, get an idea for who we are and what we’ve done. Stop by and say hi.
On April Fool’s day of this year, I quit smoking. I found the date to be very fitting since I was a smoking fool for over 21 years. Yes, I was barely out of the womb when I started. I was young and stupid. Those were the good ol’ days.
So I traded my nicotine addiction for a new vice.
I’m now addicted to Cheerios.
I’ve tried to quit smoking four times in the last two years. I gained forty pounds trying to quit. This time, I grab cheerios when I get a craving.
I love Cheerios. Do you realize how many kinds of Cheerios there are? Apple cinnamon, strawberry yogurt burst, multi-grain, honey nut… the list goes on and on. http://www.cheerios.com/ourcereals/ourcereals_home.aspx
The worst part of my new addiction is holding the cheerio while I light it on fire and inhale.
|© Claire Collins
Web address for this interview: http://www.whohub.com/clairecollins
I am the featured author at Second Wind this week! That’s pretty cool. It means that they put my face up there and the cover of my book, Images of Betrayal. There’s also a little about the book, and a little about me. And as a bonus, the entire first chapter is posted! There’s even another nice little surprise, a sneak preview of my next book, Seeds of September.
First, go to here, (But make sure you come back to wordpress): Second Wind Publishing Featured Author
See? That’s cool, huh? You can look around a little. I’d really like that. You can buy Images of Betrayal as a book or an ebook. You can pick it up on Amazon for the kindle too. My other book, Fate and Destiny is out there in those formats too. And if you want it for the Iphone, or palm reader, or in a ton of other formats, you can buy the books from Smashwords.
Okay, there’s more. Come talk to me. I hosted a discussion on facebook, too. You don’t have to discuss my topic if you don’t want to. I’d be tickled pink if you would just come say “hi”!
And while you’re on Facebook, I’d love to be your friend, so click on my name and add me and leave some graffiti on my wall. Claire Collins
How about videos? Here’s the trailer for Images of Betrayal.
I think that’s most of it. Thanks for coming to visit and my little tour of the Internet and Images of Betrayal. I’d love to hear from you!
An idea for a new book smacked me in the forehead last week. It was painful, but I took aspirin, put aside the book I’ve been working on for the past several months, and let the new story pour out into a word document. Three pages into it, I had another realization smack me in the head. I donned my husbands football helmet to protect my brain and reread the beginning I had just written. It was true. I hated the lead female character in the book. She came across as a princess type. She was pretty, and she knew it. She dated brainless eye candy and realized they weren’t nearly as perfect as she was. Yep, I couldn’t stand her and she wouldn’t shut up. “Write my story,” she kept yelling in my ear as she stomped her size seven shoe. “Write my story. I’m perfect. My life needs to be perfect. Keep going.” I frowned, looking out past the face guard of the helmet at the computer screen. “Shut up. You’re too perfect. Your problems are in your own perfect little head. You need real problems if you want a place in my book.” Then I read over the parts about her best friend, a normal mother of two with motherly hips and a determined smile. She wasn’t anywhere near perfect, and she didn’t claim to be. Thankfully, the helmet deflected the brain impact this time around. Despite the cries of outrage from Miss Perfect, I backspaced clear to the point where their personalities really started to emerge. My perfect character became more realistic, more flawed, and her best friend became more wise, more single, and less motherly. I quickly added another five pages full of words building their lives and rounding them out into likable, believable people. Miss Perfect’s voice in my head became less demanding as I wrote. She became freindlier, more caring. By the time I finished the first chapter, she was my new best friend, and her best friend was a strong counterpart, her strengths and weaknesses merging well with Miss NowNotSoPerfect. “Thanks for not listening,” she whispered, scuffing the toe of her size nine on the floor. I clicked the save button and smiled, but I keep the helmet handy, just in case. Claire Collins is the author of Fate and Destiny and Images of Betrayal. http://www.secondwindpublishing.com
I want to share a little of what it’s like to be a part of Second Wind Publishing. We are so much more than a group of authors who share the same publisher. We are a collective bargaining team. We make decisions together and discuss options in our own private group. We read over each other’s work and share ideas on covers, plots, storylines. We each blog here and have input on our website. We swap marketing ideas and cross link to our personal websites. We share stories about our children, our jobs, our hopes, and disappointments. Second Wind isn’t a faceless corporation where the shareholders are raking in the dough and paying out overinflated royalties. We are small, friendly, and working for ourselves as well as each other.
Since we are the “little guys”, it’s up to us to promote ourselves and support each other. If you have a moment, go check the website to see what’s new. You may discover your next favorite author!
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
I have a real job. Yes, believe it or not, I don’t just sit around all day living the lives of my imaginary people. Shocking, I know. Yes, I have an actual job where I leave home every morning to go work for someone else and I come home at the same time every night. I fight rush hour and have more than one boss. Do I want to write instead? Absolutely. I’d gladly trade my eight to five job for ten hours of sitting at my computer clicking away at the latest story. The problem, of course, is that I have bills to pay. Oh yes, and children. Lots and lots of children. They like to eat… and argue. So even if I didn’t have to feed them, the chances of me sitting at my computer and clicking away at keys for ten hours is simply never going to happen until they all move away.
I know there are lots of other people out there who have the same desire to get lost in a good novel whether they are writing it or reading it. No matter which end of the spectrum you are, I thought I would share the Association of America Publishers sales reports for the month of December. You can read the whole article here: http://www.publishers.org/Dec08stats.htm
Oh, did I mention that in my real job, I’m an accountant? I have this ‘thing’ for numbers…
Check out the increase in ebook sales compared to the changes in the other categories. So what does this really mean?
Contact: Tina Jordan
212/255-0200 ext. 263
AAP Reports Publishing Sales for Month of December
February 12, 2009, New York, NY: Book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of December increased by 9.7 percent at $1.5 billion but were down by 2.4 percent for the year.
The Adult Hardcover category was down by 10.3 percent in December with sales of $113.3 million; year-to-date sales were down by 13.0 percent.
Adult Paperback sales increased 12.5 percent for the month ($132.8 million) and increased by 3.6 percent for the year.
The Adult Mass Market category was down 8.3 percent for December with sales totaling $73.7 million; sales were also down by 3.0 percent year-to-date.
The Children’s/YA Hardcover category jumped up 124.6 percent for the month with sales of $115.1 million, although sales for year-to-date were down by 12.4 percent.
The Children’s/YA Paperback category was also up by 37.0 percent in December with sales totaling $54.4 million; sales increased by 6.4 percent for the year.
Audio Book sales posted a decrease of 11.7 percent in December with sales totaling $10.5 million; sales for the whole year were down by 21.0 percent.
E-books sales jumped up by 119.9 percent for the month ($6.5 million), reflecting an increase of 68.4 percent for the year.
Religious Books saw an increase of 3.5 percent for the month with sales totaling $49.3 million; sales were down by 7.6 percent for the year.
Sales of University Press Hardcover books were up 5.4 percent in December with sales of $7.1 million; sales decreased by 7.9 percent for the year. University Press Paperback sales posted a decrease of 3.8 percent for the month with sales totaling $9.7 million; sales were down 8.2 percent for the year.Sales in the Professional and Scholarly category were up by 11.4 percent in December ($110.3 million) and decreased by 0.5 percent for the year.
Higher Education publishing sales posted an increase of 5.6 percent for the month ($814.7 million) and increased 2.7 percent for the year.Finally, the net El-Hi (elementary/high school) basal and supplemental K-12 category posted a decrease of 14.4 percent in December with sales of $127.2 million; the category was down by 4.4 percent for the year.
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’smore than300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies—small and large. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.
NOTE: All sales figures cited in this release are domestic net sales
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
I live in one of the least literate cities in America.
Maybe I need to move to Minneapolis.
That seems to be where the book lovers are!
How did the city you live in fare?
Maybe you should go out and buy a ton of books to raise your ranking! We may have made a dent in the rankings for the state of North Carolina. Many of our authors congregated there over Valentine’s weekend for an author event.
Check out the pictures at
Claire Collins is the author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny
I love research. I love it so much that I get wrapped up in the research and forget what the purpose of the research was to begin with. In college, I worked in the library. I was in research heaven surrounded by all of those volumes of information. I have a genealogy file with over 20,000 individuals in it that I work on in my spare time. One of my incomplete novels started in the year 1956. Since my mother was only a child at the time, I have no direct knowledge of this period, so I started researching. I became totally wrapped up in the history and evolution of Route 66 meandering through Arizona. I was certain this would be an integral part of my story. I bookmarked tons of webpages, went to the library and checked out books, and began a mental journey along the path Route 66 took before the Interstate Highway System was in place. In fact, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was approved on June 29th, only a few months before my story began in September of 1956.
The appeal of the open road pre-interstate appealed to me. Drive-in’s, bobby socks, and rock and roll all had their places outlined in my story.
Then, I started writing the novel. The characters took over and evolved my facts and figures into a story about people. The path Route 66 followed is barely touched on in the book. The music and clothes that defined a generation are simply garments and background noise. All of my research, all of the details of life during that time are put aside.
The book isn’t going to be about what they wore or listened to. It isn’t about popularity or fads.
It’s about people, and people are basically the same throughout time.
Do people really talk to each other anymore? If I want my fourteen year old son’s attention, I text him. His fingers fly over the tiny keys faster than my own whiz across a keyboard. He doesn’t talk to his friends on the phone, instead choosing to communicate in silent spurts of abbreviations and acronyms.
With all of these substandard forms of writing floating around, the rules of grammar, punctuation, and even the meanings of words have blurred. In emails, forums, groups, and text messages, miscommunication is common. The reader cannot see or hear the writer. They cannot hear tone or inflection. They cannot see facial expressions or body language. All the reader can see are the letters arranged to create a semblance of understandable communication through words, acronyms, or abbreviations. If the reader isn’t familiar with the writer’s code, then the letters are merely that. Letters arranged without any meaning.
For authors, our goal is to paint the entire picture for the reader. We lay out the scene so the reader can see the characters and the locations and hear what is happening at the time. Our letters must be arranged carefully into comprehensive words, structured sentences, and complete thoughts.
Can you imagine the books of the future? I will translate for you in parenthesis.
“AY?” BG (“Hi, how are you?” Sally asked with a big grin.)
“0 U?” J (“Nothing, what’s up with you?” Mary replied, smiling)
“0 WAYD?”(“Nothing,” Sally replied, “What are you doing?)
“Broke up w/bf” L (“I broke up with my boyfriend.” Mary’s voice was sad.)
“Sry” (“I’m sorry”)
“NBD” (Mary shrugged. “No big deal.”)
“RU OK?” (“Are you okay?”)
“J but WTF?” (“I’m fine,” Mary said. “I just didn’t understand what went wrong. It started out so well and then he just changed. We had so much in common and we talked all the time, but lately, he’s been so distant. I think there may be someone else. I just don’t know. You know how guys can be. They are all lovey dovey when you’re alone, but the minute his friends show up, he becomes a stranger, and then the other day, we were in a chat room and he was talking to some blonde avatar. And I was right there.”)
“SOB STBY” (“What a jerk,” Sally said, “I wish I could say something to help.”)
“NP BRB” J (“It’s okay, really,” she said cheerfully, trying to keep her spirits up despite the devastating breakup. “Hang on a second okay, Sally?” Mary had another text coming in on her phone.)
“HB GGP” (“Sure,” Sally said, “Go ahead and answer it. I have to step away for a moment anyway.”)
“OMG GTG TTYL” (“Sally, he’s texting me right now telling me he’s sorry and he still loves me.” Mary couldn’t contain her excitement. “He doesn’t want to break up. There was no other girl. He knows he behaved badly. He promises not to do it again. I’m so happy!” Mary practically raced around the room with joy, her voice rising as she talked to her friend. “He’s going to give me his personal email address and he’s going to send me a real picture! Anyway, I have to go for now because he’s still texting me and his picture is coming through. I’ll talk to you later and let you know what he looks like!”)
Just imagine, in the future, a book like War and Peace would end up being a mere thirty pages.