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I’m miserable. I’m done.

I’m miserable. I’m done.

I’m frustrated, hurt, and angry.

I’d crawl out of my skin and disappear forever if I could. If only I had a chrysalis that would allow me to transform and fly away, never to return again. But I don’t. The closest thing I have to it is my writing. When the real world gets too hard, I can curl up inside one of my fantasy worlds and forget about what’s bothering me. Writing allows me to put my feelings down on paper to lessen the burden on my heart.

What’s bothering me, you may wonder?

It’s hatefulness, and it’s people taking advantage of kindness.

Hatefulness – There is only so much a person can take before they reach a breaking point. It seems that everyone is hateful and angry anymore. I’ve had friends that I adore for years that suddenly are letting their hate fly, but I guess I’m supposed to accept it and look the other way. Either they think I don’t see it or they don’t care if I do. And then how much do they really care about me.  The excuse of “but not you. I didn’t mean you,” just doesn’t fly with me.

NO.

If you’re hateful, you’re hateful, and I don’t need you in my life. I don’t care what flavor your hate is, I don’t want to taste is. You poison me every day that I do, and I don’t want your poison to change my overall view of the world. You sound just like the people you claim to hate while chucking me under the bus with them.

Kindness – I have a terrible habit of feeling sorry for people or wanting to be a friend to someone who may not have many. But you know what? People see kindness as a weakness. Fact. It doesn’t even seem to matter if people have been shitty to them in the past and they should know better. I wish I didn’t feel sorry for people. I wish I had a thicker wall and that didn’t allow others’ feelings to transfer to me. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I had more of a mean bone in my body. I wish it didn’t always take me so long to stand up for myself. I wish I wasn’t forgiving.

Ugh. I wish I were anyone but me.

As you know, I’ve been trying to get people to join my launch team. Yes, I’m asking for help–something that I have a tough time doing–and now I struggle because certain people think that because they’re helping me out by joining that I owe them a personal relationship.

I’m an author. I’m a storyteller. I’m a writer.

Why do I owe you any more than some entertainment through a good story that you paid for?

Or in this case…something I worked extremely hard on and I’m letting you read for free.

For free. I wish I didn’t care about writing and sharing stories. No one values books or writers anymore. Everyone expects everything to be free. It breaks my heart to think about how much time and effort goes into a book, and yet people think it’s worth less than a cup of coffee. I know I’m wasting my time. Sigh. I wish I could stop feeling compelled to write stories that no one gives a damn about.

I let myself be pushed around. Held emotionally hostage. Feeling like I have to be beholden to anyone who will read my stories. Maybe it’s because I’m an indie author and not a celebrity who has someone ghostwrite a book for them that immediately shoots to #1 on the NYT bestseller list. I know I have a long, hard road ahead to find readers but who much am I willing to put up with? Am I really finding a fan of my work when someone makes me feel like I owe them anything more than that?

Case in point…

Twitter. I like to play hashtag games. I joke around with all kinds of people and often. I tweet about my launch team, some people join. One person

First, expected me to be their friend and answer ever-increasing amounts of private messages.

Then started really making me uncomfortable by saying they were going to come to visit me.

Finally, started sending me lewd messages about spanking him.

I finally stood up and blocked him from my social media, but he is still sending through other avenues and sending emails to my author address–trying to make me feel bad because I “should forgive someday” and am making him “feel distraught.”

I mean, is reading so out of fashion that I have to, not only give books away for free but sacrifice my personal space as well?

Don’t get me wrong. I love interacting with people and getting messages about how they enjoy my books, but when people cross the line or take advantage of my kindness, I feel more miserable than I would if I never shared a word with anyone.

So what do I do?

Keep friends who clearly hate me even though they’d say they don’t?

Stop trying to share and promote my books or build a career for myself as an author?

Stop interacting with people on social media altogether?

Stop joking around because some perverts can’t tell the difference between goofing around and falling in love?

Ugh. I’m done.

Today I’m allowing myself to give up and retreat into my fantasy world. Maybe I just need to recharge and forgive myself for not being someone else. Anyone else. Someone who doesn’t give a care about the feelings of others. Someone who has a thick skin. Someone not affected by the words of others. Someone who wants to be anything other than a writer.

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Aster The Spirit Talker – Five Star Review

Aster The Spirit Talker – Five Star Review

Hey Friends, 

I had the most beautiful surprise waiting for me this morning–a five star review of Aster The Spirit Talker from Readers’ Favorite.

Here’s the review!

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Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is a fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Allie Compeau. Aster was all sorts of excited and just a little bit scared about her family’s move to their forever home. Her dad was in the military, so she had grown up never being in one place for very long. This would be different. Her father had retired from the military and would be a commercial pilot, and the house they would be living in was theirs. When they arrived, Aster marvelled at the architecture of the new house — it was so much like the fairytale cottages she envisioned while reading her books! Then she saw the backyard — it was huge and filled with lush greenery and flowers. And, looking up, she saw geese honking overhead, and she was thrilled when her dad said that he had seen deer in the yard when he first saw the house. Going inside, Aster’s bedroom was perfect; the lavender tones of the walls and furnishings made her smile, and the view from the large picture window facing out on the backyard and the woodlands beyond it was mesmerizing. But Aster’s sparkling new world was soon to get even better and brighter.

Allie Compeau’s fantasy novel for children and preteens, Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy, is a marvelous tale about a sheltered ten-year-old girl whose move to a new house is world-changing. I loved watching as the timid and insecure Aster grows into a strong and daring young heroine, one who learns that fear is normal, but acting in spite of your fear is bravery. Aster’s animal companions are a treat to get to know, and the work they do helping her prepare for her role in saving the planet makes for a grand story. Compeau’s plot is exciting and fast-paced with plenty of pitfalls and villains to make readers wonder if Aster will even survive, and her characters are credible and well developed. Allie Compeau’s animal-oriented epic fantasy for kids is well worth a read, no matter what your chronological age. Aster The Spirit Talker: A Middle Grade Fantasy is most highly recommended.

To buy a copy click here.

 

 

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Do writers have to write every day?

Do writers have to write every day?

I haven’t written a single word on any of my projects in a while. I’ve thought about them. I’ve taken some notes. Some may suggest that I have writer’s block.

But I don’t.

I read some quote that suggests that to be a writer you have to write every day.

Bullshit. That’s probably true for whoever said that, but guess what, not every writer is the same.

We don’t all write about the same things. Fiction or non. Novels, or poetry, articles, blog posts. Fantasy, sci-fi, romance, war. Some of us plot while others fly by the seat of our pants while telling a story. It drives me nuts when someone likes to hand out pearls about what makes someone a writer and tries saying others are not because they don’t do things the way you do.

We are all different. People can be creative in different ways. Writers don’t come marching out from a pod of sameness! We’re weird! So why would we have limits placed on the things that make us what we are?

If you want to list things that help to turn a good writer into a great writer by improving their craft, I’ll probably agree with a lot of those things. But that writers have to write every day? Plllltttt! Get outta here with that.

When I try to write every day, I just add a bunch of worthless crap to my pages. So instead, I go for walks. I think. Showering is a top choice of mine to think about my projects. Reading–I read and study to learn how to make my writing better. There are so many other things that I can do and guess what, they don’t undo the fact that I’m a writer.

Just because I’m not adding to my word count doesn’t make me less of a writer than someone who scribbled out a few words so they can fit into someone else’s idea of what “should” be done.

Do painters have to paint every day to be a painter? Do sculptors have to sculpt every day?

I believe we artists benefit from taking some time to step away, look up from our art, and observe the people and the world around us.

And I don’t have writer’s block. I actually don’t believe in writer’s block. At least not for this writer. When I’m ready to write, I always do.

Like cookies in an oven, my ideas and my thoughts need to bake before I’m ready to take them out and share them. When I write, I write A LOT. All at once. I don’t write every day.  When I’m in the midst of a project, I’ll write every day, multiple times a day!

I get so sick of others telling me how my process should work because it’s how they work or saying my passion isn’t as strong as theirs because I don’t do what they do.

Bullsh*t. I’m off for a walk with my buddy, and I’ll be working on those ideas in my head until they’re ready to be poured onto the page.

CutieWalk

 

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Accepting Constructive Criticism

Accepting Constructive Criticism

Hello Friends,

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I’ve started sharing my work with others, it’s that if many people are telling you something needs to change, no matter how much it may hurt, you should listen and make changes.

I got a dose of constructive criticism that hurt yesterday.

I had a group web call with other authors and my book coach. They all agreed that the title of my book needed a change. It was like a stab in the gut. I liked the title but they all agreed that the title itself wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t a good fit for a middle-grade fantasy novel. More than the rejection, I’d have to change all my cover files, interior files, website, and review copy.

Fortunately, my cover artist, Ashely Byland of Redbird Designs (Click here indie authors if you’re looking for an incredibly talented and easy to work with cover artist) made these changes for me quickly and painlessly. Did I mention that she’s incredible? She’s incredible!

So my book will no longer be titled…

GreatConnection3D

But will now be known as…

AsterSpirit3D

Now I could have closed my ears and insisted that I was keeping my title because it’s my book. But these other authors have more experience than I do. They gave me solid reasons why my first title just didn’t cut the mustard. And my book coach is a best-selling author who is a wiz with titles and marketing.

I want to succeed. I can write books. I’m not doubting myself on that anymore (now don’t call me cocky–I just said I know I can write them, not that I think I’m talented. The imposter syndrome is still strong in me) I’m still learning when it comes to marketing and book promotion. But I know the best way to learn (in any situation) is to keep an open mind and accept constructive criticism in a way that allows me to learn and become more successful with each step I take.

 

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Writer not writing

Writer not writing

Hello friends,

I cannot remember the last time I opened up my laptop and worked on my novel. Was it in June sometime? Has it really been since May?

So what’s keeping me from writing… writer’s block?

Not at all. The slow down started when I began querying my romance novel, Hearts Mingling. The querying process is extremely time-consuming, but more than that, it takes all the joy out of trying. As a matter of fact, querying kind of makes me feel like I hate writing. It’s a misplaced emotion. It’s not actually the writing I hate, but it does make it all seem pointless–like I’ll never find readers for my work if I can’t get by the gatekeepers.

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I’ve also been taking a few courses. One–a marketing course for a small business I’ll be part-owner of and do the marketing for. The second–another marketing course, but this one is specifically for authors. As you know, in addition to my other small business, I’ve started my own publishing company, WhistlePig Publishing, to independently publish my children’s novels. Who knows, someday I may also be publishing my adult works as well.

All my time and effort has been going into these ventures, but at least I feel like I’m moving forward with my writing and my quest to find readers. I’m no longer stalled out in the querying trenches, spinning my wheels, and feeling like a loser.

I’ve begun building my book launch team and have been fortunate enough to have received excellent feedback from my readers. (And btw, all of you who have joined and been kind enough to let me know how you’re enjoying the book–THANK YOU! You have no idea how much it means that you’re willing to help. I suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt myself daily, so your words pull me out of some serious self-despising darkness).

If you haven’t joined my book launch team but would like to, click here to sign up to get your free review copy. Those who join, download the free ebook on launch day, and post their reviews will automatically be entered to win prizes.

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It’s tough to be a writer who’s not writing, but at least I’m getting closer to writing again. I am now a writer who is planning on writing and feeling the excitement bubble build inside. The bubble that will grow until it bursts and forces me to sit down and write because I won’t be able to think about anything else.

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I’ve decided to finally write the final two books for The Great Connection and turn it into a trilogy. I originally planned to do that, but then the query process smashed that thought into a million little pieces.

But now that I’m an indie author I can officially say, “Whatever, I’ll do what I want.”

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So take that, gatekeepers. You can’t tell me what to write and you can’t keep my readers from making their own choices!