Welcome To The Technology Age, Me

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Going into self-publishing is quite daunting sometimes. In reality, you still have to do all of the same things you did before. Publishing houses won’t help you with the writing or the marketing, which are arguably the hardest parts. The distribution, cover design, and editing are all manageable as long as you work with the right people.

But that doesn’t help with the mental change! There’s something about taking away the safety net. You have nobody to blame but yourself if you get lazy.

Which is exactly what I’ve gone and done. I’ve neglected the people who are interested in my books, by making it so that they have to check in with my blog to know when there’s a new release out. Under that system you can easily miss the five day window when I make the Kindle copy free.

So, consider this my mea culpa. I hereby solemnly swear, no more being lazy. If you want to know when I have a new book out, and to make sure you get one of the free copies, put your email into the form below. I will only use this list to let you know about new releases. No spam here. I’ve also put a permanent link on the side of this blog, so you can update your email at any time.

Suddenly I feel very organised and pleased with myself!

Throwback: Tropical Dreaming

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I love travel, but New Zealand is absolutely terrible for it. It’s quite far away from anywhere you want to visit, so any time you’re making plans, you end up factoring in a 10 hour (or more!) plane ride.

The exception is if you’re wanting to go to a tropical island, lie on a white sand beach and read a book. Then it’s just a hop skip and a jump!

This photo was taken in Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands. Excuse the horizon being slightly squiffy, it’s hard to focus when you’re at an outdoor bar, Corona in hand, and you’ve just been swimming in the sea. It’s a tough life, really it is…

Have you traveled anywhere recently? Or are you, like me, stuck inside daydreaming about beaches?

Quality time means quality

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When my husband and I first got together, it was a bit of a revelation to him that sitting side-by-side, staring at a screen, didn’t count as quality time to me. Absolutely not! Time, yes, quality, no.

I’ve found quality time is so important to a happy relationship. My husband and I both work very busy jobs, outside of the normal office hours – I work two, if you count writing romance books! So having at least a couple of times a week where we really talk to each other is crucial. Otherwise, I’ve been known to find out things about my husband’s life from his workmates, which then leads to a grumpy wife, who likes to know everything firsthand 😉

The biggest help was actually setting aside dinner time as catch up time. If we’re both home for dinner, the TV is off, and phones are put aside. Such a simple thing is heavenly! There’s a time and a place for everything, and a time and a place for cutting it out.

I read an article recently that compared being on the phone too much to being unfaithful. Clearly, they’re going to an extreme to make their point, but I think they have a kernel of truth in there. If you’re depriving your partner of your time and attention, for silly things like a phone game or Twitter, are you really being fair to them?

Even if you’re single at the moment, there’s a still a solid argument for cutting down on the scren time. Think about the last book you read, or TV show you watched. Were the characters watching TV or hanging out on social media? Or were they doing something more meaningful and interesting?

Do you find it a struggle to get quality time? Ever considered cutting down the screen time, or even cutting out the screens altogether?

A hike, some sweat, and a diamond ring

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while knows I’m currently working on a trilogy set in Hawaii. There’s a reason for that; it has to be one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been to! I can see why all you Americans go on honeymoon there.

Why hello, beautiful
Why hello, beautiful

In the first couple of days that we were in Honolulu, we hiked up Diamond Head. It’s an old volcanic cone right in the midst of the city. It doesn’t look so high when it’s next to skyscrapers, does it? I. Nearly. Died. Between the heat and the steep climb, I was highly relieved to get to the top.

The view was entirely worth it. Honolulu is stunning, with skyscrapers going right up to the beach, giving you a beautiful contrast of the modern world in paradise. This should probably be the part where I promise you I’m not being paid off by their tourism board – it’s difficult not to wax lyrical about this spot!

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Check out how clear the water is!

I really like the story behind the name. Apparently in the 19th century, British sailors turned up, and thought calcite crystals on the volcanic cone were diamonds. That must have been quite a disappointment when they figured out the mistake!

Nowadays the name tends to inspire guys looking for a special spot to propose. I’m not sure how happy I’d be for someone to pop the question while I was all red-faced and sweaty, but hey, I guess when you’re being proposed to you probably don’t care!

Where’s a romantic spot you’ve visited lately? Or even better, an awkward proposal spot?

Loving The Pun-ishment

Am I the only one in the world who loves puns? Maybe it’s because I don’t get out enough. Maybe it’s something to do with being a words geek. But if you start a pun war with me, I won’t need any inkcouragement. I’m going ALL IN.

Sorry-Not-Sorry
Sorry-Not-Sorry

Unlike a broken pencil, puns aren’t pointless. While 90% of people will eye roll me out of the room at the sound of a pun, it’s helped me unearth a few other word geeks at parties. Then you can huddle in a corner and plan out all the things you want to do before you die, ready for your oughtobiography.

Have I driven you away yet? Still not sorry. A good friend even used one to explain how I get sick every winter. What can I expect, when I’m always working with drafts?

Maybe one day puns will have a renaissance like sarcasm. Usually deemed the lowest form of wit, now scientists have come to our defence, and shown it actually makes people brighter and more creative. See, I’m not mean, I’m just trying to help you out.

I think the only one I’d rule out is any jokes about German sausage. They’re the wurst.

P.S. In my hurry-up-editor-I-want-to-publish-already upcoming book, the characters get into a pun war or two. Maybe I’m a little bit sorry about that. Dot dot dot. Dash dash dash. Remorse code.