Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm not trying to hide... not too much, anyway.

Today's post is all about My Best Friend's Brother/The Summer I Turned Into A Girl and where exactly you can find this book. If you haven't yet had a chance to read it, there are places it can be found for free, my friends. And if you're still interested in buying it, there are also several places to do that.

1. I always have copies. If you live remotely close to me, you can get your hands on a copy from me. I will sell you copies (usually for a discounted price) and I will sign it. And if I'm feeling particularly generous, I may even just lend you a copy.*

2. My local library carries a couple copies of it. Library cards are free, and so is borrowing books.

3. Various friends and family members have copies of my books, so if you are friends with them, just ASK. If they don't have a copy on hand, they can still get you a copy from me. Keep in mind that I have friends and family near where I live, and in various parts of the States.

4. I think some people in the UK bought my book. I don't actually know who, but it's kind of cool to know it's traveled that far. 

If all that fails, there's the online stuff:
5. The CreateSpace store has it, of course.

6. is currently offering it at a discounted price.**

7. Lastly, please keep in mind that my book is on Goodreads. If you've read it and know someone else who has read it, could you kindly take the time to rate and/or review it? Thank you so much.

- Natasja

*I also have a copy in my bathroom, so feel free to come over and... I don't know, use the bathroom?

**Do me a favour, would you? If you see some clowns trying to sell my book for $145.27, please let me know. Thanks.

Monday, July 15, 2013

10 things I've done on my journey to becoming an author

1. I once Googled "anatomy of a book" because I couldn't remember what the spine of a book was called. This is particularly embarrassing considering I'm a librarian.

2. I also once Googled what it would be like to live on a planet with two moons. I came across a lot of interesting theories and suggestions, and finally settled on something I liked.

3. I started a book with just a list of characters, after which I complained to my sister that I didn't know what to do from there. Six weeks later, I had a finished book.

4. NaNoWriMo. Enough said.

5. This:

6. I've read my own works until I felt like clawing my eyes out. If you've ever recorded yourself talking or singing and then listened back, then you can imagine that's what it feels like to read your own writing. It's awful, but also very constructive.

7. I've looked up the meanings of every name I've used in my stories (save for the ones I made up myself, of course). There's not always a useful reason for this. I'm just really into etymology.

8. Also, this:

9. I've emailed every single chapter I've ever written, one at a time, to someone who doesn't even live in the same city as me but faithfully reads every word. I've also had all of my stories read by someone else who will write extensive, helpful comments on them. Folks, if you have someone like either one of these people in your lives, I advise you to never ever let them out of your sight.

10. I've read, and read, and read, and read, and read... to avoid having to write something when I just didn't know what to write.

- Natasja

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Ergonomics... and other useful things to know

There's this little thing called "ergonomics" which is basically about the relationship between the human body and your work environment. If you were ever in a high school band, you might link this to when your music teacher yelled at you to "sit up straight!" and "don't play out of the side of your mouth." Or perhaps you've never even heard of ergonomics, which is probably due to the fact that most people don't really care. It's kind of one of those things where hindsight is 20/20, because apparently you can ruin parts of your body just by typing wrong, but you won't know it until way after the fact. Allow me to illustrate this point...

Proper posture looks like this:
I think you mean, "write a sentence every 30 minutes."
Improper posture looks like this:
At least I'm drinking water today.
Apparently there are other really important things to do/not do when you're an author. Like not forgetting important words in a sentence. Example:

"You probably hate my guts now, don't you?" he asked teasingly.
"No," she laughed. "I do hate your guts."

Verb tenses! Don't mix up verb tenses. Not even in a query letter...

So he asks me, "Do you hate my guts now?"
"No," I said and laughed. "I do not hate your guts."

"So then, the characters will find out that they've switched bodies. And then after that, they tried to find a way to switch back. But now, they're stuck."

(I know it's subtle, but also incredibly annoying.)

So now you know - some things to keep in mind while you write.

- Natasja

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The way things are (Or why I can feel the train more than hear it)*

I realize I haven't been around much since my last post in January. Truth be told, I haven't written much of anything since then. This has got to be my lowest word count in a period since I wrote Less Than Perfect three years ago. Yup, that's right. I started writing LTP around this date in 2010 and did little of anything else until it was finished.

But lately, I've barely even looked at any of my books, let alone added much to them. Call it the winter blues, call it stress, call it poor time management. The fact is that I have been wasting a lot of my free time, something that I am loathe to admit to myself (though I feel oddly comfortable admitting in a public forum).

Fear not, however! Guilt at not letting my characters progress in their stories and not giving my readers something to read is a huge motivator for me. So I've decided not to give myself any excuses for not writing. Yes, I have to work, but so does everyone and other people find time in their lives for the things they love. Which means I have to cut out a lot of the other time-wasting things I do, pull my socks up, and get to it!

And so, with these thoughts in my mind, I will put on some motivational music and leave you with these immortal words:
- Natasja

*I've recently moved to an area where a train goes by quite frequently. (Although in my town, they go by pretty much anywhere, but this one is basically in my backyard). However, the tracks not being close to any roads, they never actually signal that they're coming. So every once in a while, my little slice of Heaven** turns into an earthquake zone.

**Not an actual slice of Heaven.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 (Or, Why the World Didn't End)*

I've never put a great deal of effort into celebrating the birth of a new year, but that doesn't mean I don't remark on time passed. I guess I don't find it as significant an event as others, but it is still fun to say that I've lived in two different millennia. And of course, I got a kiss from my husband at 12am. (12:01 by my clock, but who's keeping track?)

Nonetheless, I have to say that I had a pretty fantastic 2012. What did I do again? Oh yes, published a book, got married, and upgraded my job. But that was just my summer... (You'll have to forgive me my tiny moment of bragging.)

After all that, however, I'm still hoping for another fantastic year and years to come. My husband asked me what resolutions I was making, and I told him none.** Though maybe I should be more honest and say this: I still plan to send out Less Than Perfect to publishers, but if none choose me by the end of the year, I will publish it on my own. And that, my loyal readers, if my promise to you.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2013 is your best year yet!

- Natasja

*You were seriously worried, weren't you?
**I also ascertained that there are two types of people when it comes to New Year's: those who make resolutions and don't keep them, and those who don't make resolutions and don't have to worry about failure. I am the latter.