publication

A Flash Fiction Contest for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE!


Folks, I’ve made it. I have arrived.  🙂

Well, that’s more or less what one of my writer friends (Micki, I’m looking at you) tweeted out; “You know you’ve made it when offers a contest in your honor!”

And yes, indeed Ms. Janet, NYC literary agent extraordinaire and Director of Literary Services at New Leaf Literary and Media, Inc., is doing just that.  There is a Flash Fiction contest this weekend in honor of THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE’s Next Indie Pick selection and the fact that the book is soon to be released!  (only a month away!)

For about five years, I’ve participated in these contests.  I’ve won some, had numerous finalist mentions, long list mentions, and several special recognition mentions.  The competition is fierce because the writers who hang out there are some of the best I know.  They have 100 words  (the word limit for these FF contests) to spin a story that incorporates a beginning, middle and end.  Some of the entries from past contests have taken my breath away, made me laugh, or made me sit in awe, while wondering how did they do that?

The prize?  Well, a copy of THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE – of course!

Good luck, y’all!  I can’t wait to read your entries!

the education of dixie dupree

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First Interview From The Daily Record


I’m providing my first newspaper interview since many of you who follow the blog aren’t connected with me on Facebook, or on Twitter where it was shared.  I thought you’d like to read it.

Enjoy!

clip-Daily Record-FeatureAug2016-DIXIE DUPREE

Goodreads Giveaway!


Kensington has set up another Goodreads giveaway for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE.

The contest will run June 8th –>June 27th to win one copy of an ARC or final copy!

If you’re not on Goodreads, now’s the time to join (free) because not only are there tons of these sorts of giveaways, it’s a great way to connect with authors, and readers.  Think of it like Facebook for…books!

Go here to enter the DIXIE DUPREE giveaway:  http://bit.ly/286qeUr

the education of dixie dupree

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE Final Cover


I thought I couldn’t love my cover any more, and then?  Kensington’s Art Department did a little fine tuning and this is what we now have!

There are reasons behind every decision made by my publisher.  I know why they did this little tweak, but most important is it makes me feel extraordinarily happy for everything they’re doing to support my debut.

What I want to know is…what do you think?

the education of dixie dupree

 

 

First Sentence Friday


Still in catch up mode!  This week I’m sharing the first sentences in Chapters 5, 6, and 7.

CHAPTER FIVE

In the early spring of 1969, when the yellow dust of pollen was heavy in the air, I noticed Mama’s discontent had wrapped even further around her, covering her like a shroud, becoming something we couldn’t ignore.

CHAPTER SIX

While Daddy was still gone, Mama began what I’d call a campaign, intent on telling certain folks, mostly strangers, that while she was in Alabama, she’d never be happy.

CHAPTER SEVEN

When Daddy came back from his trip, I wanted to ask him if he knew anyone named Suggs, and why Mama was so godawful worried about not being known as white trash, but the bribe of ice cream cones and her warning were enough to keep my mouth shut.

Cover DIXIE DUPREE

***I’m using #FirstSentenceFridays on Twitter and tagging @Kensington Publishing Corporation.  Follow along and tweet out/share if you’d like!***

Announcing First Sentence Fridays


As I get closer to the publication date of my debut novel, I’ve been thinking of different ways to entice readers, to build a little suspense, and most importantly, share a tiny bit of the story within that beautiful, most awesome cover created by the @Kensington Publishing Corporation Art Department.

A couple of times I’ve randomly selected a sentence I particularly love, and put it out on Facebook, both on my personal page and on my author page.  Then I thought, why not just do a post each Friday that will go out to my Author page, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so all of my social media gets a taste?

I decided I’d call it “First Sentence Fridays” which means I’ll share the first sentence from each chapter within the book – barring any spoilers.  If the first sentence gives away too much, then I’ll pick another – and let you know it’s not the first one.

With the official launch on November 1st, I’ve got a little catching up to do.  That’s 24 weeks away, and I’ve got 28 chapters.  Either way, it ought to be fun and this will also give you a little peek into the mind of Dixie LuAnn Dupree.

I can’t wait for you to meet her!

#FirstSentenceFriday

Cover DIXIE DUPREE

 

 

Great Expectations


This wasn’t an easy post to write.  I’ve sat on it for days, thinking about it, and wondering if I should write about this topic at all.  It’s likely (probably) premature for me to even think the way I am, but I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m what I call an “advance worrier.”  Meaning, I worry about sh*t in advance, and likely when I shouldn’t.  Can’t.  Help.  It.  Blame Mom.  Hey, I blame her. Dad never got overly concerned about much, while Mom worries about EVERYTHING.  Here’s a snippet of our conversation recently:

Me:  Hey, what’re you doing?

Mom:  Oh, I just got this disclaimer in the mail from Medicare.

Me:  What does it say?

Mom:  That my MRI might not be covered.

Me:  Mom, we talked about this before, that’s just a standard form letter they send out.

Mom:  But they say they might not cover it.

Me:  They will.

Mom:  I don’t know.  I’m going to call them.

Me:  Do whatever you need to do for peace of mind.  So, what else is going on?

Mom:  I think I saw a snake in the yard yesterday.  I better not work outside today.

Me:  That was yesterday, it’s long gone by now.  Go get some fresh air.

Mom:  I don’t know.  The damn thing could be hiding under a bush somewhere.  Waiting.

I think I’m about a 50/50 mix of Mom’s worry and Dad’s non-ruffly nature.  Then I get something like what I’m about to say here in my head, and I even worry about my level of…worry.  Yeah, worry about worrying.  How’s that?  Then I feel that I start to sound like Mom.

Anyway.  Here’s where my head’s at.  There was a slow build up via social media comments and emails which ultimately led to my understanding my debut book is an in-house favorite with my publisher, Kensington.  (heart, be still.)  This is, in the words of a few, a really good thing and hopefully means the book will also do well once it lands in stores.  Like I told my husband, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, for the last several months, I’ve been working on my next project.  It’s a good story – if I can do it justice. (worry!)  Set in 1940, and told from the perspective of the fourteen year old daughter,  Wallis Ann Stamper, it’s about a singing family living in Appalachia who lose their home and all their possessions after a flood.  (the flood is based on historic fact)  Hunger and cold force them to leave, and try to make a living singing.  They eventually join a traveling show, where family bonds are further tested by certain events.

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, and this current book, working title THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET, are very different, yet I can’t help but worry about comparisons.  Stuck in my head is the idea DIXIE DUPREE is of a different caliber because I had years to work on it, tweak it, massage it, fluff it.  PERFECT it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the story of BITTERSWEET, but I won’t have the same sort of time to work, tweak, massage, fluff, and so I wonder – is it as good as it can be?  I don’t know.

I’ve still got some time here, and my intentions, of course, are to only send my best work – yet, (again) what if?  What if it’s not perceived in the same way as DIXIE?  No matter the stories being different, it’s about the writing.  Right?  There are expectations here – from myself, my agent, my editor, the publisher.  What if there’s head scratching?  Perplexity?  DISMAY?  Even a bunch of WTF’s?  The thought, “how did she write DIXIE DUPREE, then write…this?  I don’t even know what…this…is.”

You know what?  I hate to disappoint people, that’s what it boils down to.  I don’t like folks receiving something from me with a certain level of expectation, only to serve them up a good dose of disappointment.  What I want is for there to be the same level of enthusiasm, and excitement, and all that other great stuff – which came rather unexpectedly with DIXIE DUPREE – to happen with this story.  All the good things said about my debut have me worrying about the possible expectations with this new work.

Maybe I’m crazy to think this way – you know, before I’m even out of the gate, so to speak.  And thus, I begin worry about my worrying.  If only my worry quotient was a little more swayed, leaning more to Dad’s way versus Mom’s.  More like 80/20.

Pink room?  Softy cushy walls?  Is that what you’re thinking? 

creative-writing

 

 

Goodreads Giveaway!


Susan Wiggs’ blurb about THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE begins with this, “Open your heart to Dixie Dupree.”

I love the quote in it’s entirety, but this little snippet truly captures how I personally feel when I think of my book in a future reader’s hands.  In addition to her words, I would also add “Open your mind, consider what happens.”

Having said that…the chance for you to be the next person to “open your heart to Dixie Dupree” is here!  Today launches the Goodreads Giveaway to win an ARC.  The contest starts TODAY and goes until May 30th.

Goodreads will select ONE lucky winner (US and CANADA only) when the giveaway ends.

*NOTE:  You have to be a member of Goodreads in order to participate.  If you aren’t a member, and would like to join, go here to sign up:  Goodreads

For existing members, enter HERE http://bit.ly/1VHl25c and while you’re it, add the book to your shelf HERE http://bit.ly/1pY5Vq9 to get notified when additional giveaways are running!

Good luck!

Cover DIXIE DUPREE

Goodreads Contest Next Week!


For the next few months, there will be opportunities to win an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE!

The next is my first Goodreads giveaway set up by Digital Sales and Marketing at Kensington.  This contest will run from May 11th through May 30th, and the winner will be selected by Goodreads. 

For those of you now reading the blog who may not be familiar with the Goodreads site, here is a simple description of what it is:

“Goodreads is a free website for book lovers. Imagine it as a large library that you can wander through and see everyone’s bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can also post your own reviews and catalog what you have read, are currently reading, and plan to read in the future. Don’t stop there – join a discussion group, start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing.”

*You must be a member of Goodreads to participate in this giveaway.*  If you are already on the site, and have shelved the book, (thank you!) you will receive a notice and instructions on how to enter the giveaway when it starts.

If you aren’t on the site, and you’d like to join to participate in the giveaway, go here:  Goodreads

I’m looking forward to this giveaway and hope you will join in on the fun!

Cover DIXIE DUPREE

Did You Know…


…how you can help out authors?  It’s not just buying the book, which is certainly a big deal in of itself.  There are a couple (well okay, five here) more steps that can take the simple, yet powerful act of buying a book go that extra bit towards helping an author gain traction.

Here’s a list of what I’ve heard/learned.

  • A while back, our lovely Shark (a.k.a. Janet Reid, literary agent extraordinaire) posted about this.  Wherever you go to purchase books…if you don’t see the one you want?  Ask for it.  Find someone and ask if they can check their database to see if it’s been ordered, or if they’ve put it on their list of books to order.  (or to be re-ordered if their inventory is depleted.)  One point she made – which, as a newbie I thought was very interesting – don’t go to the author and tell them their book isn’t in a store because the author can’t do anything about it.  The reason?  Authors aren’t part of the process to distribute their book.  Hence, the “ask a person in the store” advice.  Now, if the author is self-published?  That’s a whole other topic outside of my wheelhouse.
  • If possible, rate the books you read, or even provide a short review.  An astute observation made by a commenter here  on this blog (Heidi Kneale) stated even bad reviews are a good thing, in that if all an author has are good reviews, that can start to look fishy.  500 five star reviews = things that make you go hmmm.  Of course, a book’s success is based on being well received, but all reviews are helpful and show people cared enough about the story to leave one.
  • If you are on Goodreads,”shelf a book” you want to read.  (pssst!  even if it’s not out yet)  The more people who shelf a book, the better the chances for the good folks at Goodreads to showcase it.
  • If you are a member of a book club, pick a book as your book club’s “pick of the month,” and then…
  • …talk about it!  This is typically The Way I find out about books I want to read next.  Interesting, it’s still a fact today, despite the social media interactions of authors online, this is the very best thing to help a book – good old word of mouth.

 

Village-Books-Bestsellers

Courtesy Village Booksellers

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