Friday, December 28, 2012

Small Town PR

I live in a small town with an in-town population around 9,000. Out laying area, about 45,000. We have the best small town newspaper. I know not only because I read it, but because I worked there for 15 years. I still work for the same newspaper company but in another location. The newspaper office will always feel like home and family to me. Working there made me feel like part of the history and current events of the area. It has come to be such a part of my life that several of my WIPs include a small town newspaper. When I shared with my friends that I had a published book they wanted to do a story. And what a great story they did. I really appreciate it. Here is the story:

[Local] author publishes romance novel

Curtesy The Record-Courier 12/26/12

by Caryn Haller

  After writing her first five-page novel at age
12, Gardnerville resident Christy Olesen put
her writing on hold to pursue a career in
graphic arts.
  Almost five decades later, the 61-year-old recently
published the 200-page romance novel
“Her Scottish CEO.”
  “They say, ‘Write what you know,’ and I
know about painting in Scotland,” Olesen said.
“When the scenario of this story idea ran
through my head I started writing it, then the
characters took over. I enjoyed revisiting Scotland
as I did my online research for this book.”
  “Her Scottish CEO” is about American artist
Marcie Winters who puts her hopes on a job
that takes her to Scotland. Once there, she
meets cocky photographer Greg McInnis who
needs a brilliant artist for a project that will
prove he can handle a desk job at his family’s
publishing business.
  “I’ve always had scenarios running through
my head and several years ago I started writing
them down. It’s a creative process that sort of
takes on a life of its own,” Olesen said. “This is
a romance and romance readers read romance
because they know there will be a happy ending.
A romance gives the reader hope, respite
from the difficulties of life. A reader knows the
hero and heroine will get together in the end,
what they read it for is to find out how the
hero and heroine overcome the obstacles and
conflicts that initially keep them apart.”
  Olesen took creative writing in high school,
but in college she concentrated on visual arts,
earning a degree in graphic arts.
  While Olesen has worked as an ad designer
for Sierra Nevada Media Group for many years,
she has also worked in watercolor for more
than 30 years.
  “At one point I was accepted into a prestigious
transparent watercolor exhibition,” she
said. “I’ve always considered myself an illustrator
as opposed to a gallery artist and I’ve done
many freelance illustration jobs.”
  Olesen used her watercolor illustrations intended
for a separate project in her romance
  “I did the illustrations for another project,
which I call, ‘A Watercolor Journey.’ I spent a
month in Scotland several years ago painting
along the Caledonian Canal from Oban on the
West coast to Inverness on the East coast, including
Loch Ness,” she said. “I had two editors
interested in that project, but neither offer
went through. I felt the illustrations would add
an extra dimension to this book.”
  “Her Scottish CEO” took about six weeks to
complete the rough draft, however, after putting
it on hold to work on other manuscripts
the book wasn’t completed for another two
  “It’s a good thing to put it down and step
away for awhile, then come back to it with
fresh eyes,” she said. “But to give a time line, I
started this book in 2008 and sent it out to the
first publisher in 2010.”
  The ebook edition was published in November,
and the trade paperback was published
Dec. 14, by Indie-Pendent Publishing Co.
  “I see writing like painting. The first draft is
the under painting, then I go in and work on
the details,” Olesen said. “With a painting I can
see the entire image at once and spot what
needs clarifying. It’s more difficult to see the
whole manuscript at once. It involves a lot of
going back, rereading and reworking.”
  Olesen said she enjoys writing by the seat of
her pants, rather than plotting out the storyline
  “I love getting caught up in writing a story.
I’m what’s called a pantster, someone who
writes by the seat of their pants as opposed to a
plotter, someone who spends a lot of time plotting
the story before writing,” she said. “Being a
pantster can cause some plotting difficulties, so
I do more plotting now than I used to. But
writing this way also produces some exciting
surprises I wouldn’t have thought of with a
strict plot to follow.”
  “Her Scottish CEO” is available online at, Amazon, Barnes &
Noble, CreateSpace, or Smashwords.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas 
and a Happy New Year 

It looks like we'll have a white Christmas here in Northwest Nevada. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All my bases covered

Tonight I approved my CreatSpace full color version of my POD trade paperback of Her Scottish CEO. The cost is astronomical for a book of that size and present obscurity, but I like to give people a choice. I have a friend whose husband is going to buy it for her for Christmas. I thought that was nice of him to purchase such an expensive edition. She said:

"It’s not that he is such a generous gift giver, it is that we have been married a long time and we have all the blenders and vacuum cleaners we need. He can never think of anything to get me, so this is a nice idea." ~ B.

She also said, after reading my on-line book description and explaining why she wanted to wait for the paperback edition:

"I don’t like electronic books for me (her son uses them) – I hate reading on the computer. I want to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket – computer no good for that! Your book definitely sounds like a couch curler!"
A Couch Curler! I love that.  Thanks, B!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why we read romance

Why do we read romance? I read it for the happy ending. Why invest my time and emotions in watching a relationship grow only to have it clobbered by a tragic ending? With the romance genre, I know what the ending will be, it's the journey I love; the how they get together.

I watched a holiday romance on Netflix yesterday that really had me guessing. The movie was Holiday in Handcuffs (TV PG, 2007) staring Melissa Joan Hart as Trudie, Mario Lobez (the dimple poster boy) as David, Timothy Bottoms and Markie Post as Trudie's parents, and June Lockhart as "don't call me Grandma."

What had me guessing? Trudie's boyfriend Nick breaks up with her the day they're suppose to leave to go to a cabin in the woods and have Christmas with her family. He breaks up with her in the middle of the restaurant where she works. Distraught, Trudie picks up the 18th century gun her boss has on display and kidnaps the first guy to come down the hall to the restrooms. She takes David to the cabin in the woods and introduces him to her family as Nick.

So, not only am I wondering how she gets away with kidnapping, a federal offense, but how does he forgive her, and how do they end up falling in love for their happy ending?

Of course, I'm not going to spoil it. I'll just say there's a lot of fun and antics getting to the end.

The Hallmark channel shows a lot of Christmas romances every year. My favorite is The Christmas Card which is airing next Saturday 12/22 at 8pm.

The Christmas Card - Moved by an anonymous Christmas card sent to the front lines of Afghanistan, lonely career militarist Captain Cody Cullen travels to the small town of Nevada City to meet the card's sender, Faith Spelman. Stars Ed Asner, John Newton, and Alice Evans.
Among the classic holiday movies I like are Christmas in Connecticut, Desk Set, Shop Around the Corner, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life.
What are your favorite new and/or classic holiday romance movies?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

256 Shades of Gray

I couldn't pass up that headline! But this isn't about that book. It's about my recently published novel, Her Scottish CEO. I just made it available through CreateSpace. My book is illustrated with 17 original watercolor paintings done on location in the Scottish Highlands. They look gorgeous on my Nook Color, and even on my little-screened iPod Touch. But to produce the trade paperback in color would have tripled the price. So the interior illustrations in the paperback are in shades of gray or grayscale as it's known in graphic artists' speak. The illustrations still look great and translate well into black and white.

I'm thinking of offering readers a choice of b&w or color. The reader could decided which they want, how much they're willing to pay for full color, or save by buying b&w. I've left a question about this with customer service at CreateSpace and I hope it works out.

Would you pay more for a trade paperback (5.5x8.5, 200 pages) with full color illustrations at the beginning of each chapter?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Final formatting push

Warning: technical talk from a graphic artist turned Authorpreneur. 

I'm working evenings and weekends trying to get my formatting done for my POD (print on demand) version of HER SCOTTISH CEO. I'd like to get it up in time for Christmas shoppers, but I'm cutting it close.

Since I lost the use of my Word2004 and Photoshop CS2 with my seemingly innocent system upgrade... (watch out for those mountain lions. It's a great OS but be sure to research before upgrading.)  I found a less expensive version of Word2011 and to replace PS I found GIMP a free/shareware program. The learning curve hasn't been bad. Since I've been using photoshop for 15+ years, the only thing I have to learn with GIMP is which icon does what. There have been some frustrating moments when it hasn't worked exactly as PS does, but I found that actually looking the problem up in the manual helps. Go figure. And GIMP works faster on my new system than PS did on my old system. 

I had to reformat the interior illustrations to 300dpi, which took two days, and replace them on the pages. Now I'm working on the cover. There are several layers and I was nearly done when I realized that the template had shrunk when I imported it and I didn't notice until I put on the back copy blurb and it was 2pt. 

Now it's midnight and I have to get up at 6am, so I better close this marvelous, sometimes frustrating machine, and go to bed.