SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES 15 13.89
SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 8 7.41
SURPRISE, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 8 7.41
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
PEORIA, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
REDMOND, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES 5 4.63
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 4 3.70
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 4 3.70
TOKYO, TOKYO, JAPAN 2 1.85
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA 1 0.93
TUCSON, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM 1 0.93
WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
BERLIN, BERLIN, GERMANY 1 0.93
CABOT, ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
POCATELLO, IDAHO, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
MESA, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES 1 0.93
The above list my friends- is a website analytics we use to give us an idea of who is visiting the website, how to improve, what pages are doing well and which are doing badly. The first column of numbers represent how many visitors from that area/location have visited. The very right column of numbers represent how long they spent on the website.
CAN I SAY COOL? Heather has spent A LOT of time working to spread the word of our website, and I just want to say THANK YOU ALL who come and take a moment to see what Fire and Ice is about. Pass it along because it may be your mother or your sister or your aunt that absolutely loves the storyline and would be eagerly waiting for a new book.
I also wanted to post this information because I want all of you out there who have been to any of the Fire and Ice website places (Facebook, blog, main website, twitter- which by the way we are working to increase more posts…we’re just trying to get all this other stuff up and running….) I just want to say thank you and I want to personally tell you that you are choosing to be a part of something we are hoping to become BIG. It would be fun to say seven years from now (think Twilight’s progression) that you are one of the original followers/supporters/readers……I mean seriously- how exciting? I would love to brag that I was one of Stephanie Meyer’s first friends on Facebook, or that I was at her first bookstore signing, or to say I was one of the ones who bought one of the first 100 hundred published copies of her original first Twilight books.
I also want to speak about Stephanie Meyer/Twilight. I am surprisingly not a very obsessed fan. I do buy advanced tickets of the day-before movie screening when a new movie comes out, I have the set of the books and have read the set once through (thanks to a great family member who bought a newer set so I got the awesome older set), I always buy the illustrated guides, and I have one movie souvenir type chest from Hot Topic. I get excited when there is a new movie and new pictures or trailers are released Aside from that, I mention her or speak of her work because it intrigues me. And this my dear friends is the whole reason I began writing Fire and Ice.
I remember in 2008…..I was the usual stay at home mom and I always made sure to DVR one of my favorite shows- Oprah. Anyway, I actually decided to watch this one live that day. It was the interview and first time Stephanie Meyer went on Oprah to promote Twilight and talk about it- ‘the newest hottest selling book that had even middle aged moms and grandmas by storm’. (or so I’ve heard in various places).
I watched, and my mind was spinning.
I had written short stories my whole life, been involved in yearbook and newspaper in Jr. High and High School. My lifelong dream had been to write a book. And here this stay at home mom simply had a dream and chose to write about the dream. Then submit it. And as we all know, it turned into a movie which has turned into a mania. (Twihards).
So I made up my mind to start writing my first book right there. Only problem was….I hadn’t had any good dreams recently. No ideas on what to write about. So I went and found my huge box of short stories I had written up on my grandmother’s ancient typewriter back in the day when I was in my early teens. I found one….it suited me…the storyline did not. Therefore I spent the next two weeks looking/searching for ideas to somewhat change my short story to make it a novel. I talked with my husband, I asked friends.
And then suddenly I began writing. I got really into it…I believe accomplishing like four chapters before we had to pack up and do a big move into another house. I remember picking back up again on the book in my new writing office bedroom of the new house….Becoming stuck with writers block on what “Claire” (main character of Fire and Ice) finds in the chest of her grandparent’s basement. I remember one night combing my bedroom trying to find some type of trinket that would fit perfectly of what Claire finds. My husband suggested something and I remember snorting with laughter because it sounded so silly. But then as I’m digging through a dresser drawer, I realize I’m bouncing ideas back and forth with him about the item he’s suggesting. His suggestion was golden. I took off with creating the destiny behind it. I wrote feverishly for another couple months. When I finished Fire and Ice, it had been a total of Nine months of writing over a 12-13 month span. (Hey, stay at home moms who actually enjoy their sleep don’t really get anything but naptimes to write!)….
Towards the last 6 chapters of Fire and Ice, it came to me of what I wanted to name my main girl character. It also hit me the same week of what I wanted to name my book. And then the book sat for awhile. I can’t remember how long. It was just a long while. I picked it up again (I am still trying to remember exactly when) and I did several types of edits on it myself. Those edits took several months because I’d get burned out on reading the book again and again. I tried to get my husband to read and give input but he just isn’t the reading type of guy and never has been.
And I believe once I edited several times, had one friend read it, and I began submitting to agents- querying for the first time in my life. (Querying is when you submit a short one page of information that explains who you are- (the author) and what your book is about. You handpick agents who you have researched that specifically represent your type of book. Then the agent decides if they want to begin representing you (in order to publish, you need an agent. It’s sort of like buying a house. Agents- no matter the type- they have the special access to things or people you can’t/don’t mingle with on a normal every day basis. So for a literary agent, they have access to professional editors, big and small book publishers, they know how to publicize your book and get the name out there…..)…..
Querying was exciting at first. And then I began to read more about people who had queried, what advice they gave, what I should and shouldn’t have done in my submission. And then the rejections started coming in. Like I said, it was exciting at first…but after the second month of waiting….still getting rejections in my inbox….it got to the point that I just started to burn out. And then I came across Heather. She had been my neighbor for awhile already, but it wasn’t until later on down the road of sharing my banana bread with her that we actually started going to each other’s houses and sitting for periods of time while we chatted and enjoyed visiting more than just standing on the driveway or at our doors. And Heather discussed her desire to be part of someone publishing book. So she became part of the Fire and Ice team. So, with fresh new eyes on my goal, Heather was excited as could be. We spent the summer (while I still got rejections) talking about how we could make Fire and Ice better. It all came down to the storyline.
Mine had too much in common with Stephanie Meyer about Indians. (I didn’t mean to sound like a copycat, but Lemhi Indians in Idaho really truly are interesting and I have great true story plot)…..so we scratched the Indians. (It will have to be part of a different book some other time…)…….And then Heather suggested ancient mythology. This too, I snorted at, but found myself going back and forth with her on her idea, providing feedback and further ideas. I honestly did not like the idea of change. (I never do…you should have seen me two weeks ago when I got the new iphone. SERIOUSLY.)
But, as we began analyzing my story- trying to fit in how mythology could work, it fit brilliantly. So now that it was decided, I was to go back to the ‘drawing board’ and rewrite Fire and Ice.
Two words: Not easy.
To change something I loved so much was so incredibly tough. I already loved certain lines, specific scenes….The only way I realized I could let go, is to cut and paste into a notes folder, saving the idea for later…for another lucky book down the road.
And then my grandmother became sick and passed away. I was literally inches from being done (well, about two or three chapters from finishing my rewrite) when my grandmother passed. But, having to go home, have the funeral, come back and get the family and house back on track- it was no easy task. Especially with Halloween taking place, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas…But during my daughter’s Christmas school break, I was determined to finish my book. I also wanted to finish in the year I’d begun the rewrite, start the next year- (2011) totally fresh. I sat for a week and did the last of my writing and succeeded on that goal. So overall- my rewrite took me from August 2010 until December 2010. Yeah, kind of slow and long, but you have to remember and consider all the crazy things that happened during those months that kept me from writing quicker. (So really only about a month and a half of writing, though)
Here it is April. Fire and Ice has been shuffled from a few trusted readers since January (a couple of them previous readers), but this time everyone was so busy with their lives happening that helping to edit a book was literally impossible. I finally found a favorite teacher who is editing as we speak. (BLESS HER HEART! And man- it paid off to be a good student in school! ;) )
So, Heather and I have decided to try to accomplish all we can with Social Networking and website changes as much as possible so that when the manuscript comes back, I can be totally geared towards fixing the edits, doing small areas of writing to fix the flaws. So maybe another 3-6 weeks for editing…..and then from there we’ll do about four weeks of writing and fixing the flaws. That puts us about middle of June/beginning of July with a perfect, shiny book. (Agents love getting books that have seriously been polished again and again and are in the best possible shape. It’s like buying a house. Who wants a dirty one and has to go in and do the cleaning themselves? No one does. So, we writers have to make sure our ‘houses’ (manuscripts) are clean and ready to sell. We’d like a sales deal ASAP.
So, say by chance we are ready to query again by the middle or end of June- that would be amazing. We are going to be ready this time.
I hope I have informed everyone’s curiosities on what it’s taken to write Fire and Ice. I am currently working on a FAQ page, but I had promised I’d let you all know how I got to this process right here and I will be more day by day posting of the ongoing progress.
They say that you should start promoting your book three years before it is published/printed. Well friends, the time is now. Please pass the word about this. You guys- our readers, our followers, our friends- you will be the ones to help us get there. You can give us feedback on what we should write about (posts, what we should twitter more about, what things you’d like to know about Fire and Ice (granted that we can’t tell too much since we are going to be querying and have to keep things still under wraps since the book has not been inked with a deal or published yet…..)….Like I said before, this might be something a friend or family member of yours would enjoy getting into and following, so share. Our storyline might just be their new passion. It might help your cousin figure out where she’s supposed to start in writing a book….especially if she has children and is a stay at home mom with little time to herself. It is possible. And dreams shouldn’t be kept in little jars on a shelf. They should be released….they are like rainbows…they are beautiful and when spread out…they are something many enjoy seeing/experiencing. I want those who are looking for my ‘rainbow’ to enjoy it.