Obstacles

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Well, the first prompt of the Story 101 Class I’m taking was this:

Think about it :: what is it that may inhibit your goals these next ten weeks? How can you manage these obstacles ahead of time?

I have to be honest. I burst out laughing as I even began to think about it. Because if I choose it, there is a long laundry list of things that could inhibit my goals over the next ten weeks. LONG…

But the key word in that above section is “CHOOSE”. I make choices every day that might be a time suck. While I have to be on social media every day because of my job, do I really have to be on there that extra hour just because I’m putting off doing the next thing on my list? Ummmm….no. Or all of those shows I’ve DVR’d (I never watch anything live anymore). I can choose to create before I sit down to watch Survivor, right?

So I need to choose to stay focused and get all the things done and then reward myself. It’s how I work most of my days. I make a list every day, I work that list every day, and I set goals within that list every day. When I make it to the first goal mark, I reward myself…maybe it’s writing for 30 minutes to an hour…maybe it’s going on a walk…Or maybe it’s a quick catnap. Sometimes it just means I get to eat lunch! No, I’m not joking about that last one.

And that brings me to the next thought I have on this. I’m a go-getter, serious Type-A personality. I tend to go and go and go until I collapse or someone forces me to take a break. But I had a reminder from a dear friend of mine in the past couple of days. Here’s the gist of what she said to me:

Sometimes you have to say no. You can’t forget to relax and rest. Those are important things too.

I’m paraphrasing there, but I can hear her voice echoing these words in my head over and over. And she’s right. These things are just as important as getting ALL THE THINGS on the list finished. For me, because of my personality, it can be an accomplishment just to take a couple of hours to spend with my family, to watch a movie and snuggle up with the 3 Creatures and inhale their scent. Even if it is now a much stinkier, boy scent. They’re getting bigger. The older ones don’t want to snuggle as often. I take what I can get. LOL

So, the only real obstacle I can see is myself. Success for me with this Story 101 class will be soaking it in and allowing myself to rest and truly create instead of just doing all the time. Because there’s a difference between creating and doing for me. When I create, my soul is fed. When I do, well…to be honest, my ego is fed a bit. I feel accomplished and proud. But creating…creating brings rest to weary bones. It’s a life source for me.

My goal? To find balance between creating and doing…

It’s Been A Long Time…

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NoFear
Well, I haven’t been here in a very long time. It’s really not because I haven’t wanted to. Rather, my life has taken a crazy turn over the past 2 years. My company, InkSlinger PR, has built to a place I thought was years down the road. It’s happened quickly, and I feel as if I’m just coming up for air-at least for a little bit of it.

I’m aware that many people think I’m crazy for how much I work. I was raised, however, to believe that anything worth having is worth the time and effort it takes to get it. So that is how I have approached my business. It has taken time away from my family. Thankfully, they are the most supportive and loving bunch in the world. The Husband and the Creatures see my dreams coming true and they cheer me on. They cook and clean and yell, “You can do it!” Honestly, it’s humbling and it’s amazing.

One thing that has suffered a bit is my own writing. I dabble in it and play with it, but it’s not like it was. My extra time is limited and there are just days, when I have free time, all I want to do is snuggle up with my boys and watch a movie or go on a hike…Or even take a shower and shave my legs! So, my own writing time comes and goes. And, honestly, I’m okay with that-Most days. I love my job-Every day. I love it more than anything else I have ever done in my entire life. For me, that says a lot. I’ve had some freakishly wonderful experiences in my life.

So what do I do when I decide things are starting to smooth out and I can breathe a little bit? Well, I decide to teach a Marketing 101 class at The Romance Academy and take a Storysessions class of course. Doesn’t that make perfect sense? No?? Well, it did to me. I was so excited about both things when I said yes. So, SO excited.

Now how do I feel? Well, I’m almost done with all of my lesson plans for the Marketing 101 class so that is a breeze. And, listen, it’s what I do. I’m a literary publicist. I live that every, single day and it excites me and sends a thrill through my body. THAT is NOT what is scaring the crap out of me. What is, then, you ask?

The Story 101 class.

Yes, I am fully aware that this is probably ridiculous. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I was a writer before I was anything else-except maybe a musician. So what do I possibly have to be scared of? REALLY? Here’s my profound answer…

What do I NOT have to be scared of??

I’m a publicist. That is how people see me, and I am in the public eye for that-As a literary publicist. Don’t get me wrong. I know books. I know stories. And I know selling them. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Am I the best? No, although I’m just cocky enough that I like to think I am. I’m not stupid enough to believe that, but I do like to tell myself that. Am I good at my job? Yes.

So, what’s the problem?

I’m a publicist. I’m afraid to say out loud that I am still a storyteller. The market is unbelievably saturated right now. Especially in the land of romance. Ask every single one of my authors. They will all tell you the same thing. They all are asking the same questions. And we are both sitting there every day watching ranks on retailers and sales numbers, we are watching new authors pop up with the new and shiny story that seems to come out of nowhere, and we are all asking, “What’s next”? This is what I do. I watch, I make plans, I put plans into action, and then I tweak according to the results. These are the conversations I have with authors, agents, editors, bloggers, and other publicists. This is what I DO. It’s what I’m known for. And now, I’m creeping back out saying, whispering, “Don’t forget…I’m a storyteller too.”

It’s scary.

I want to run.

Don’t get me wrong. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my community, my beautiful, amazing, ridiculously talented literary community, will support me and embrace me with open arms. But-if I step back and think about what I am really doing-I want to throw up. And here’s why…It seems like everyone has written a book in my world, or is currently writing a book, or wants to write a book. I don’t want to be lumped in as just another person jumping on the bandwagon. I want to be seen as KP-the storyteller that has always been there.

Does that mean I want people to see me as that rather than the literary publicist that I am? Ummm…No. Absolutely not. I would rather die. LOL In all honestly, I want to be seen as both. However, my stories could very well suck. And that brings me to the next fear…

What if I suck??

What if all of the BIG IDEAS that I’ve been slowly writing down, or planning in my head, ultimately stink it up like end-of-the-summer, no-I-haven’t-been-wearing-socks tennis shoes? What if??

Here’s the answer I’ve come up with for all of it.

So what.

That’s it. So. What.

I tell people every day, multiple times, to dream big. To never settle. That the answer is always no unless you ask the questions. What a hypocrite I would be if I allowed my own, deep-down fears to stop me. I’d never be able to look one of my authors in the face again. So I’m going to take this Story 101 class. And yes, I may actually fake it and HOPE that people don’t see my knees and hands shaking, but I’m going to throw myself into it as much as I can.

The instructor, Elora, is an author I adore and one I’ve been working with for some months now. Her book, EVERY SHATTERED THING, will change you and entertain you at the same time. You can’t read it and not be changed. It’s my favorite kind of book because of that. It’s come a long ways since the first time I read it, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. That being said, it took some serious courage and bravery for her to get it where it is now. I opened up her first email for the class today (yes, I’m already behind…) and this is what I saw at the end of the email:

“In May, I came up with a new title. I received the redesign of the cover. And my amazing publicist, who I will carry with me forever and all eternity, started calling out dates for reveals and releases. Suddenly, I was accountable. And every time I reached out my hand, someone from the community was there to help me see the finish line.”

Yeah…that’s me she’s talking about. I don’t know about the amazing, but I am the publicist. And I did grab her hand when she reached out. So just as I was thinking, “I don’t have time for this class”, it was shoved in my face (in a very loving way) that I was using that as an excuse and giving my fear a foothold. I try never to allow that to happen in my life. So I know you’re wondering…

What am I going to do about it?

I’m going to take this class and get the most out of it that I can. I’m going to submerge myself in the information despite the fear and, hopefully, kick the fear (and the book I’m slowly working on) in the teeth or the arse. Whichever one my foot can reach at the time.

And I’m going to blog about it here. As much as I can. Fully aware that the blogging might be sporadic because I work a lot. And I love my job. And I will never allow that to suffer for things I can control. But yeah…I’m saying it out loud again.

I’m a literary publicist.

I’m a storyteller.

From one of my authors…

So…. this week has been flooded with amazing, wonderful, overwhelming things.  Very amazing, very wonderful and very overwhelming…. and all in a very good way.  (Is that too many ‘verys’?)

 

IfyouStay Amazon (2)

First– and this is absolutely scream-worthy.  As of right this minute, If You Stay is sitting at #16 in the ENTIRE Amazon kindle store.  The entire freaking Amazon store!!  Holy. Wow.  I’ve been in shell-shock all week!  It’s sitting at #8 on Barnes and Noble.  Double Wow.  I am literally floating on air right now.

I am so, so thankful for every single one of you.   You have no idea how thankful and grateful I am!!  I have been brought to tears many times this week by the messages and tweets and Facebook posts that I have received over this book.  So many awesome bloggers have shared and featured If You Stay and so many readers have read it. …

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Super excited to be asked to be a panelist at UtopYA this year. I’ll be blogging more about it this weekend, but I had to share the big announcement!

utopYA con

I’m not gonna lie. Even with a team who is way more organized than me helping to keep track, we’ve still had a hard time keeping one running list accurate. If only everyone would reply “HELL YES” on the same day 😉

With that in mind, we are humbly and heroically excited to announce some of our NEW panelists for utopYAcon 2013. Stay tuned for further surprises because you know me, I love me some surprises.

Earlybird tickets and VIP packages for utopYAcon 2013 are on sale now. Price goes up February 1st.

AUTHORS
Below, in no particular order, are the newest authors who will be joining our returning group of outstanding authors at utopYAcon. I have highlighted one book from their catalogs, usually the first in any given series. Stay tuned for the OFFICIAL utopYA Reading List.

  1. CJ Redwine, Defiance
  2. Frankie Rose, Sovereign Hope
  3. Chanda Hahn, Unenchanted
  4. R.K…

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One of my funny, funny authors. This book is so good!

Soooooo.

If You Stayis almost ready for the world to see it.  Now comes the hard part for me.  The REALLY hard part for me.  Waiting.  I hate, HATE waiting.  You can ask my amazingly patient publicist, Kelly.  She has listened to me whine about this for a week.  But the fact of the matter is that I have a month now to wait til the world meets Pax and Mila.  So, to help me pass that time in a healthy fashion (rather than texting whiny texts to poor, sweet Kelly), I decided that I’ll run a couple of contests between now and February 12 (release date).  The winners will win one of these:

pic of IYS ARC

A signed ARC of If You Stay.  So if you win, you’ll be able to read Pax’s story before the rest of the world.  Yayyyy!  Woohooo!  I’m dying for people to read his story. …

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500 Follower Giveaway!!

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I am so excited to type this post out. Seriously, one of my favorite things to do EVER is to give people things! So…with that being said, I felt like celebrating the 500 follower milestone by doing just that.

What am I giving away you ask?? Why, a box of books of course!! This box will contain 7, SEVEN, lovely books. Some are ARCs, and they are a mix of different genres. Here is the line-up for the Box of Books:

1. Skyship Academy (The Pearl Wars) by Nick James [ARC]

2. Horse Camp by Nicole Helget & Nate LeBoutillier [ARC]

3. Family by Micol Ostow

4. The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade [ARC]

5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

6. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

7. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers [ARC]-This has been one of my favorite books of 2012 so far. Be warned…You will NOT be able to put this down!

Want to know how to enter? Comment below what your favorite book of 2011 was. That’s it! If you want more chances to win, follow me on twitter @kpsimmon and tweet about it. Just post the tweet address in the comments below. 3 ways to enter! This contest will end Friday, April 20th, at midnight CST.

So, that’s it! And as they say in Hunger Games…Good luck! And may the odds be Ev-ah in your favor!

Staring Up,

KP

In His Own Words-HE FINISHED THE BOOK!

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Oh…The Husband finished Colleen Houck’s Tiger’s Curse, and he has blogged about his thoughts and feelings on the book now. I can’t wait for you to read it.

WARNING!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Next stop for The Husband will be a podcast with all of The Girls from http://thetigerseries.com. No kidding. He might be hooked on this whole book blogging thing. We shall see… Read on for his take on the rest of Tiger’s Curse!

To start things off today, I need to apologize.  I’m a couple of days late with this blog post.  Between work, little league, and my son’s birthday my normal blog postdate came and went without even realizing it. So…”I’m sorry.”

As busy as my life has been, it is interesting to note that I still found time to keep reading.  I left you at about page 170 and I just finished the book.   In fact, I haven’t been able to put it down most of the day.

If you remember, I wasn’t too thrilled with the book in the beginning.  I was interested in the story, but not in love with it.  I really didn’t like Kelsey, and felt like the story line was lacking in action and other necessities for this male reader.   That was my general feeling for the first 150 pages or so.  I liked it, but could have walked away from it with relative ease.

So much happens in the last 250 pages that I won’t spend much time today recounting the storyline.  Instead, I want to share how my feelings have changed.

Much to my great relief, Kelsey has turned into a character that I like (for the most part).  She shows great courage in facing the challenges that are presented to her in the quest to break the curse.  The inner monologue about how dreamy Ren can be a bit tiresome for me, but I guess I get it.  She’s a teenage girl in love.  I was surprised when her feelings became conflicted between her feelings for Ren and her fear of getting hurt.  It was nice to get to know more of her than just the girl with the tiger.  I felt like it gave her some more depth, which, in my opinion, was desperately needed.  She felt so shallow and unrealistic for the longest time.

I have really enjoyed Ren’s character for the majority of this book.  He is strong and bold while also gentle and protective.  I like that guy.  I have to admit that I like the good guy getting the girl.  I am interested to see how the love story plays out now that Kelsey has run back to Oregon to try to get some space from him.  I wonder how he’ll respond.  Towards the end of the book, there was some definite foreshadowing of the battle royale that is sure to come between Kishan and Ren.  I’m sure that eventually there will be some sort of love triangle thing going on.  Also by the end of the book, it doesn’t appear that the choice will be quite so cut and dry for Kelsey.   She clearly has feelings for Ren, but Kishan seems to be a guy that she enjoys being around as well.  As much as Ren has a head start, I don’t think he’s got this one in the bag.  Is it just me, or did anyone else think that Ren’s cockiness with Kelsey near the end made him look like a bit of a tool? I bet The Wife will disagree on that one.

The story did become really exciting about half way through.  I was totally engrossed in the hunt for Kishkindha, and the perils that Ren and Kelsey encountered there.  Nice job, Colleen.  It was really fun to read and full of imagery that was vivid and exciting.  I can tell that Colleen did her research.  This book is full of very specific Indian references that add some really interesting color and detail to the story.  Overall, I liked it.  What started as a begrudging read on my part, has turned into some genuine excitement to see what happens in the next couple of books.

On to Tiger’s Quest

The Husband

Blog Tour Announcement

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I’m so excited that I get to announce to you a Blog Tour that I am setting up for the amazing author, Amanda Havard! Amanda wrote the first book in THE SURVIVOR SERIES and released it a year ago. The Survivors is a beautiful and suspenseful story about a girl, Sadie, and her dreams, hopes, powers, and desires.

Now…It is time for the second book in THE SURVIVOR SERIES to be released this summer!
The Survivors: Point of Origin
takes where the first book left off and RUNS through more twists, turns, and unexpected leaps than a person can imagine! To say I think it is wonderful would be an understatement. So, it is with a joyful heart, and me doing a bit of a happy dance, that I announce the Point of Origin Blog Tour coming up!

If you are a Book Blogger that loves YA and Paranormal, this Blog Tour could be tailor-made just for you! Want some more information? Go to http://www.InkSlingerPR.com and click the form under InkSlinging Blogs! Fill out the form, and I will be in touch with you ASAP! OR…You can just click HERE and go straight to the form! Filling out that form will also keep you informed when my next Blog Tour approaches. Can you believe there are more to come??

I love this!

Staring Up,

KP

In His Own Words Chap. 10-12

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Oh…The Husband is BACK!! You don’t want to miss what he has to say this week. Fair Warning!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! 🙂

When last you heard from me, I was fully interested in the story that Colleen Houck is telling.  Even though I had some serious issues with Kelsey, the main character, I was still feeling that Tiger’s Curse was turning into a book that I could truly enjoy.

So…it’s been a very busy week here and, to be honest, I barely had time to read throughout the week.  Feeling the pressure to meet my blogging deadline, I finally sat down this evening and got to reading.   I have to tell you that sitting here right now I am quite frustrated.  “Why?” you ask.  I am frustrated because the story has finally become really, really interesting.  All I want to do is put down this laptop and pick up my book.  But…duty calls…so here we go.

I haven’t had any problem telling you about how much I didn’t really care for Kelsey up to this point.  She was too girly…too dreamy eyed…frankly too shallow of a character me to care about.  So it’s only fair for me to disclose that I may be changing my mind.   After following Kelsey and Ren into the cave of Kanheri with all of its traps and dangers, I am starting to feel differently about Kelsey.  She handled nearly drowning and the poison spikes with courage and strength and very little of that teenage girlyness (I know…that’s not a real word) that I disliked so much for the first nine chapters.  I suppose there’s something about near death experiences that endear her to me a bit.

Anyway…so Kelsey and Ren make it through the cave and discover that their journey toward breaking the curse is far from over.  Durga’s prophecy sounds foreboding – which makes me keep reading.  This book has definitely taken a turn toward action and excitement – a must have for this male reader.

On a final note…I am also starting not to be so annoyed with the relationship between Kelsey and Ren.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

That’s it…that’s all I can handle…I’m signing off so I can go back to reading.

See you next week.