Happy St. Patty’s Day

OMG!

I can’t believe there’s two feet of snow on the ground and Spring is right around the corner.
I only have a moment to write a few thoughts.

Of course, I’m thinking about my release day for Dangerous Code. Early reviewers are liking it a lot.

And I’m trying to remember my only Irish ancestor.

Unlike those that came in the 1800’s mine was here almost a century earlier. He lived in Vermont, a wealthy landowner.

She was very young French girl, an indentured servant who had come to the new world with nothing but hope. There is no record of the French girl after she leaves Vermont. I suspect she changed her name and started over. A young unmarried woman in the colonies would be unwelcome in all but a brothel.

I feel for her, poor dear.

Her Vermont family must have loved her very much because when she ran off, they treated the resulting babe, my great, great, great, as their own.

Would the Irishman have provided for the child? No one knows because he was found face down in flooded waters the very next spring.

If the bastard raped the young woman, good on him for ending up dead.

I would rewrite history. Our heroine finds another Irishman, a kind man with a gentle smile, who has need of someone to take care of his two children…

Of course they fall in love and have the mandatory HEA.

signature

Please follow and like us:

Where did Stella find her heroine?

 

I am Gemini.  A twin. Two people in one. A strange and odd mix.

At work, I am an extrovert; a cog in a huge cube farm where my job is to make order out of chaos. I am an interface between developers and conglomerates. If I don’t get a project into the hands of a client in the time promised by sales, my company could lose millions.

However, I am happiest curled up with a book under a thick down comforter or in front of the fire. I think I started to write because I couldn’t find enough novels that I wanted to read.

I like an occasional domineering male with a wimpy virgin, but not always. I like a regency romance with a dashingly dark duke and debutante but it’s like always eating maple walnut ice cream. Which, by the way, is yummy.

Sometimes, I want another flavor.

I have to admit, I love when a gorgeous genius with a clever mind attracts the hero.

A man who’s not intimidated by a keen mind with a bold spirit is the alpha I need.  I met him in my latest book, Dangerous Code.

Detective Colin O’Brien is street smart and able to detect a lie a mile away.

Our heroine, however, can’t read people worth a damn.

Its a fun match.

I spoke with a fan on Facebook yesterday who read the Beta copy and she loved the interaction between the two. She says her daughter is similar to the heroine. If you ask for an opinion, brace for impact. She also said it was awesome to speak to a writer who understands that personality type and how good my book made her feel.

Doing the happy dance.

She asked me where I got my idea. Usually the stuff in my head is pure imagination but I thought real hard. I got 99% on my SAT scores, I am overly-opinionated, and blind to many facial expressions.

In this case, maybe I do have a clue.

signature

On pre-order now:

DANGEROUSCODEa

Please follow and like us:

Marketing, Conquering my Fear of Failure

DC-WIX-shit together

Do me a favor? Put this on your wishlist? 

My first three chapters are here: Instafreebie

 

My last post was all about how I had stopped all social media marketing, discouraged and disheartened.

Today, I am happy to say, I am back at it.

As I listen and dance to ‘The Greatest’ by Sia, I am inspired.

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

I truly am good at project management in my day job. One of the things I’ve learned is you need to create an end date and then put all of the tasks you want to do in front of it. If there isn’t enough time, move it back.

So here is what I did. I started with a date. I needed two weeks to ask ARC readers to review. That means my book had to be finalized two weeks before go-live.

Got it.

But I wanted to get some feedback from a few folks I know will be honest with me.

That’s another two weeks.

Now, what tasks can I do in those four weeks?

  1.  Go to Canva.com and make Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Google Ads,
  2. Using my ‘Mass Planner’ app, schedule my ads
  3. Schedule a newsletter and do swaps
  4. Define a Facebook audience, and take out some ads, see if any hit.
  5. Schedule my sale for one week before go live and one week after for .99
  6. Go to all the free sites or almost-free sites and schedule
  7. Pick paid promotions within those days
  8. Revise my blog daily, using key words
  9. Put first three chapters on Instafreebie

MARKET EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS BEFORE GO LIVE!!!!

Okay. The above may not be perfect, but I am not afraid and

I won’t give up, no, no, no.

 

If you like these posts…. you probably like my writing and might like to try a sample here http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B06XBCZGXL

 

signature

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Marketing, My Fear of Failure

 

After the unremarkable sales of my last book, I dead-stopped marketing. The thought of updating my blog made me freeze, I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to post on Facebook and my newsletter went silent.

What the hell was wrong with me?

At first I was convinced that I wanted to focus on my writing, then I was tired, then my day-job was overwhelming. Yada, yada, yada.

While all these things are true, they’re not the root cause of why I stopped. I think I have atychiphobia, fear of failure, in particular fear of failing at selling my books.

Yikes.

I looked it up on line and have all the symptoms. For me, it boils down to this.  What if I put myself out there and people don’t like me?

ARGH!

My persona is that of a successful, positive, outgoing woman. However, my abused inner child sabotages me. I know this and yet when it happens, I’m blind-sided. Growing up, I never experienced unconditional love.

Dammit. That isn’t me. Not now.

I need to ask her to step back and let me try my hand at marketing again. Sure, I may fail but eventually, with enough practice, I’ll get better. While I’m learning, it doesn’t change who I am or my value as a writer or as a human being.

Starting at lunch time, here is what I am going to do:

Write this blog. Woo hoo. Mark this one done!

Write a marketing plan, complete with due dates.

Schedule no-excuse marking time into every week.

Break the to-do list down into small tasks

Create a new mantra! Repeat after me, “I am successful at marketing.”

Face your fear head on. 

Picture yourself as a marketing maven.  What does it feel like? Live there in your imagination. Write about her.

Define Milestones and rewards.  Maybe that trip to a warm island surrounded by sand?

 

I must thank this website for helping me to define my problem.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/marketingfear.htm

 

More to come… please leave a comment with your own struggles!

Please follow and like us:

What’s Inside a Writer’s Brain.

It’s 2017 and I am determined to share more of who I am and what it’s like to be me.

I’m a writer stuck in the body of a software architect. I read somewhere I should always introduce myself as a writer.

Let’s see how that pans out.
“Hi, I’m Stella Marie Alden, Best Selling Romance Author”

Or

“Hi, I’m Susan Hammond, I work for Nuance. The company that makes Siri? Those phone programs that talk to you? Press one for one. Two for three? Or you can press operator, but no one competent will help you so best to stay with the automated system.”
I shouldn’t joke, that’s what pays my bills.

But sometimes, when I am in my day job, it doesn’t feel real. What feels real are the stories in my head. And there’s always stories. Even though I choose just one to focus on, there’re many clamoring in my brain.

People always ask me, where do your stories come from?

I say, how the hell do you guys shut them down?

I mean, how can you just watch people ahead of you in the grocery store, and NOT make up their life’s story? The handsome young man with potato chips, frozen meals, and razor blades. No ring on his finger, a cute dimple, nice leather jacket. Was he married? Did he leave a relationship?

What about the woman who’s dressed in high heels, designer jeans, diamonds? And buys Suave shampoo, hamburgers, and pita bread. Who’s she trying to impress?
It goes on and on. Because once I have the character, there’s no turning back. They live in my head, fermenting, waiting for me to say, “What should I write next?”

Me! Me! Me! They clamor.

SHUSH!

Please follow and like us: