25 June 2012

Fame or What Passes For It

I had two book signings this last weekend.  I'm almost used to people asking for my signature.  I wonder if I'll ever just assume that people want my John Hancock.  I find it all so amusing.

Anyway, one of the book signings, the one at Costco, I took my mother with me.  She has been so funny throughout this whole process of getting published.  As soon as I told her (at Christmastime) that I had a book coming out, she has been beside herself with motherly pride.  She's asked every bookstore in town to buy my books and display them as a local author.  She's asked her gym if she can hang up a poster.  She has announced it in church several times, once even bringing her copy to show.  Show and tell.

In so many ways this embarrasses me, and I blush to even think it.  In other ways I am so grateful to have mother that loves me so much.

Back to Costco.  I was scheduled to be there a full seven hours.  Does that seem crazy long to anyone else?  So, my mother being my mother, she sat next to me in her pink pants suit, calling out to passersby, "Come buy this book!"  or "This book is great" or simply, "Buy it!"

I nobly resisted the urge to sink in my seat and sat there smiling away.

I never expected this to be a part of the writing process.  I never wanted the attention, that's one of the biggest reasons I like writing: it's out of the public eye.  It's a solitary activity that serves many of my introvert tendencies.

Anyone who knew me as a child is probably confused by this confession.  I can already hear my family's memories kicking in.  "Is this the same person who tried out for every play in school?  Who was on student government for three years of high school?  Is this the same person who invited a passel of strangers into a home with no furniture so she could sing ANNIE songs to them and charge them five cents admission while her sister passed out lemonade?  Is the Mandi we know?"

But somehow it has happened and I prefer life out of the spotlight.

So, to anyone who aspires to write and have those stories published, I want to give you a heads-up.  Bring your mother to book signings so you don't have to do any of the talking.

Love you, Mom.

21 June 2012


I'd like to post a link to my first ever author interview.  Good, right?  Thank you to Dorine who set the whole thing up.

18 June 2012

Inside Critic

This week as I was looking around my house wondering why I'm not a better decorator, my eyes landed on the bird my husband had drawn in high school using colored pencils.  Let me just mention that my husband is a brilliant, brilliant artist.  This bird, a robin, has one delicate foot resting on a cut orange.  The colors are vibrant, the shading delectable, and the proportions correct.  I LOVE this bird.  Which is why I framed it and hung it on the wall in the living room.  (Where it doesn't match, because I don't have anything black and orangey/red.  But there it hangs anyway.)  My husband, on the other hand cannot see anything in it but the flaws and is deeply embarrassed when anyone notices it.  He's especially embarrassed when I start gushing about it.  But it doesn't stop me.

That got me to thinking about that line in the movie "An Affair to Remember", the line where the grandmother says of Carey Grant's character "the critic destroys before the artist would create", or something to that effect.  That describes my husband to a tee.  He has all but stopped creating art because he's too critical of what may come out of his fingertips.

I think all of us suffer from our inner critic's voice at some point or another, whether it's when cake decorating, knitting, horseback riding, or whatever.  There are so many mornings when I look at my computer screen and what I had written the day before and think, "Am I even any good at this?"  The immortal Gail Carson Levine has been known to admit that every time she starts a new story she wonders if she has another book in her.  And that's a Newberry Honor Winner!

The only I can stop my inner critic from ripping everything I write, or think of writing, to shreds, is to remember the words of my BFF Shannon Hale.  (Just as a side not: is it stalking when my BFF doesn't know she's my BFF?)  BFF Shannon says that she doesn't worry so much about the quality of her writing on the first draft because there is always another draft in which to fix it.  There's always time to make it better.

Sweet, sweet words.  Always time.

That's assuming I CAN make it better, but that's where my inner little sister comes out and says, "I can do that too!"  Don't all little sisters try to keep up with their older siblings?  Well, that's all I'm doing, I guess.

Playing catchup.

Do you hear me family??

Stop being so stinking accomplished!

I think I've gotten off topic.

11 June 2012

Signing Schedule

Thanks to Andrea for her blog post at Literary Time Out.  You can see it here.

I'm happy to report that I have a book signing schedule. It is:

June 15 - Costco in Orem, Utah from 11 AM till 6 PM (Long day.)
June 22 - Costco in Orem, Utah from 11 - 6 (another long day. So, come and make me happy.)
June 23 -BOOK LAUNCH at Eborn Books in the Provo Town Center in Provo, Utah from 1-4 PM.
June 29 - Back at Costco from 11-6.

I'd like to apologize to all those Wellingtonians for not doing a signing in their neck of the world.  I would love nothing better than to visit (even in the middle of winter), so please forgive me.  You're not forgotten.

Please note the new button on the sidebar (hopefully it's working).

I think that's all the business I have to discuss today.  Happy.  Happy.

04 June 2012

Hard Copy


Just got copies of "Uneasy Fortunes" on Friday.  They look gorgeous.  Seeing my name on the bottom is just as awesome as I thought it would be.  But I have to admit the best part of all was seeing my husband get excited about it.  He even said he showed his students.  *grin*

The dedication is to all my sisters (biological or otherwise) and I hadn't anticipated that my brothers would be upset by this.  It's a girly book.  How bizarre would it have been to dedicate it to a bunch of men who will probably never read it?

Also wanted to post a great review done by Aimee.  A post I appreciate very much.

Check it out. It's awesome.

Just a reminder that the book will be available in Deseret Book, and online from B & N and Amazon.  Or you can buy it here.