Release Day!

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It’s finally here! Life, A.D. is out in the world, and for once, I’m at an utter loss for words.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, from family and friends, to my early draft readers, and my publisher. None of this would have been possible without them. 

And thank you to the readers who choose to share in Dez’s adventures. I hope you enjoy Life, A.D.! 

Be sure to check out today’s stops on the blog tour!

http://cuzinlogic.com/

https://jennifermcconnel.wordpress.com/

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Here We Go!

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The Life, A.D. blog tour starts today! You can follow the tour schedule here:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-life-a-d-by-michelle-e-reed-presented-by-month9books/

Be sure to enter the drawing! You can do that at any one of the tour stops.

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to like my Facebook page to be automatically entered in a drawing to win a signed copy and bookmark of Life, A.D! I’m extending the deadline to 11:59PM Central time tomorrow!

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleEReed

Facebook “Likes” Contest

One week from today, my debut novel will hit the shelves, and I feel like celebrating!

On release day, I will be giving away a signed copy of Life, A.D. along with a signed Life, A.D. bookmark to one of my Facebook Author Page fans. If you already like my page, or if you click that snazzy like button by 12:00 AM Central Time on December 10th, you will automatically be entered.

I want you to help me spread the word, which is where the fun part of the contest comes in. For every friend you get to like my Facebook author page, your friend will get an entry in the drawing, and you will get one additional entry. Refer ten friends? You get eleven chances to win! Refer 10,000 friends (it could happen, right?) get 10,001 entries!

All you have to do is help me spread the news. Have your friends “like” my Facebook page and write a message on my page’s wall letting me know you sent them.

Example: Buddy the Elf likes my page, and gets Mr. Narwhal to like my page, too. Mr. Narwhal writes, “Buddy the Elf sent me!” on my wall. Boom. They’re both entered in the drawing, and Buddy gets an extra entry!

My page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleEReed

So head on over and start liking! Tell your friends!

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Lots of Coming Soons

I will soon be launching my brand spanking new website, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Also, the lead up to my book launch is rapidly approaching, so stay tuned for the blog tour, all sorts of promotional goodies, and a giveaway from yours truly.

In the meantime, if you missed it the first time around, check out this excerpt from Life, A.D. which you can find here.

Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

All Done Forever

“Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.”

-Oscar Wilde

On Sunday, I turned in the final corrections on Life, A.D. after spending three days scrutinizing the proofs in search of errors (and thanks to the amazing work of the Month9Books staff, there was hardly a thing I could find!). After clicking “send” on the email to my publisher, I was hit was a strange feeling, one that was a sense of accomplishment combined with relief, and a bit of sadness.

You’d think I’d be giddy, right? My book is finally off to print! Hooray!

And I am excited. Believe me. It’s hard to put into just how excited, which for an author, is a bit of a problem. I should be better at expressing myself, but in this regard, I am at a loss for words. It’s such a privilege to be where I am right now as a writer, and it’s hard for me to find a way to adequately describe my feelings.

Amid the excitement and the sense of relief that all this time and work is finally paying off, there’s a hint of sadness.

I’m done with Life, A.D.

Forever.

My work on a book that began in the usual way—a spark of an idea that floated into my mind—had reached its conclusion. This is the first book I’ve ever written, a project I worked on in fits and starts since shortly after the birth of my son (now almost six!), and now I’m done. Completely.

What I’ve written is going to printed page, and I will have no more chances to make it better.

I know that revision is a potentially never-ending trap, which is why I’m glad I have a publisher, and deadlines. Left to my own devices, I might never get done. My hats off to those who self-publish (seriously!), because I’m the kind of person who needs to be pushed off the ledge in order to fly. I’m not jumping.

It’s a bit daunting, this being done forever business. My book is going out into the big, bad world, but it is ready? Am I ready? This is the kind of thing that drags out all my worst, neurotic qualities. What if nobody likes it? What if my words aren’t good enough? Did I work hard enough? Is my story strong enough? Yuck, right? I mean, give me a break, crazy lady…

The thing is, the publishing process keeps you really busy. I am on the cusp of the following: promoting book one while editing book two, and writing book three. Kind of all at the same time, which means I don’t have nearly the time my crazy mind would like to spend being freaked out.

So back to it I go.

Fly, Life, A.D., fly. You’re getting kicked from the nest.

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http://www.amazon.com/Life-A-D-After-Dez-Atman/dp/0988340917/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383764902&sr=8-1&keywords=month9books

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-ad-michelle-e-reed/1117217871?ean=9780988340916

The Pressure’s On

The road to publication is long, to be sure. From inspiration to printed page, the journey can span years. For me, the goal is growing nearer, no longer a dot on the horizon. What began as a glimmer of an idea that came to me in 2006 is now an actual book, just a few short months from hitting the shelves.

It seems I learn something new about publishing on a near-daily basis.

What I’ve just learned is that the going is slow until it isn’t.

Huh?

What I mean is, the time seems to crawl along, until one day when it hits you: I will be published, soon. Everything seems to speed up, and your brain (if you’re anything like me) goes into super freak-out mode.

In less than one month, the short story I wrote for my publisher’s annual charity anthology will be out, and come December 10th, my debut novel, Life, A.D. will hit the shelves!

This. Is. Awesome.

And a bit scary.

Review copies of Very Superstitious are going out, bringing me to freak-out point number one: People I don’t know are/will very soon be reading my short story.

I know.

You’re thinking, but isn’t that the POINT of publishing?

Yes, it is.

But now that it’s actually happening, it’s a bit intimidating.

I’ve always written for more than just myself. From the start, I’ve written with an audience in mind, picturing the reader following along, and, hopefully, getting swept up in the worlds I’ve created.

And now I will actually have an audience. Large or small, a multitude or a few, people will be reading what I’ve written.

And all I can do is wait and hope. Hope that the work I’ve put in will pay off, and that the words I’ve written are satisfying and engaging. Hope that I did enough, that I won’t let my readers down, that they will fall in love with my characters like I have. Hope that my publisher was right to put their faith in me.

No pressure like the kind that’s self-inflicted, right?

But I know how lucky I am. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m Baaaaack!

Hello!

My absence from blogging (let’s call it a sabbatical, shall we? It sounds more dignified that way) might give the impression that I’ve vanished, but, in fact, I’m just a soon-to-be published author who is…not so great…at taking on all that encompasses. You see, getting a publishing deal, especially a multi-book deal, doesn’t mean you can just kick back and say “Whew! Done!” It’s more like “And now the real work begins!” There are rewrites, edits, sequels to write…the list goes on. And on. It’s awesome. And scary. And nerve-wracking. And awesome.

Not that I’m complaining, because wouldn’t that be obnoxious? I count my lucky stars every day, and as my release now makes its rapid approach, I find myself still in awe of how incredibly fortunate I am to have this opportunity.

So now I’m gearing up for the “What the heck do I do now?” phase of my publishing journey. I have to get myself out there. Schedule signings and appearances, start helping with the promotion of my book, figure out how many ARCs I’ll actually need, come up with contests and giveaways…

And blog. My poor, neglected blog.

So here I am, with a promise that I will, starting now, get back into the swing of things.

There are lots of exciting things to come, so I hope you’ll join me!

R.I.P. Dez

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This is an odd day for me.

When I wrote the first words of what would become my debut novel, Life, A.D., I clicked on the little calendar that hangs out on my taskbar, looked ahead a couple of years, and chose April 13th, 2013. And here it is.

I don’t remember exactly why I zeroed in on this particular date, but it must have been a combination of factors.

For one, spring is underway, in its early, tantalizing state with the promise of warm days to come. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth, a vivid backdrop for what I had planned.

Another factor must have been its close proximity to the end of the school year. For graduating seniors, it’s a time when everything is finally coming together. Adulthood lies just ahead; college, independence, the future you’ve been planning—it’s all there on the near horizon.

For my protagonist, Dez Donnelly, today is the day that changes everything.

It’s the day she dies.

I recently visited the remote stretch of road, not far from my house, where the scene has always played out in my mind. I stopped the car, got out, and took some photos. I crouched down on the shoulder of the road and put my hand to the ground, letting the cold seep into my fingers. And I thought of Dez.

It was quiet, remote, and lonely. There was not another car or person to be seen. But for the birds in the trees, I was completely alone, just as she was while life slipped from her grasp. I thought about how those final moments must have been for her. In my mind I was torn between thoughts of she isn’t even a real person, and sorrow.

That same day, still a bit shaken by this odd experience, I sent the photo to my publisher with the title RIP Dez. She replied quickly, expressing how sad it made her. We were both surprised by our reaction to the photo, and to my experience.

It’s funny how this young woman, a creation of my imagination, could take up residence in our hearts like she has.

So today I think of her, as I never really had before. This semi-randomly chosen date has arrived, and Dez has an incredible journey ahead of her.

My publisher, Month9Books, has given their kind permission for me to share this exclusive sneak-peek of my debut novel, Life, A.D., coming December 2013.

The world around me is fuzzy.

I’m lying on the ground, and my face is wet. I blink. Drawing in a shot of frigid air, I shudder at the sensation of a million needles in my throat. Pain sets fire to my leg, and shoots up my spine. My left arm is numb, useless. And my right arm is—gone? Mangled?

I don’t know.

Don’t panic. The fear grows and festers, running toxic through my bloodstream like a virus.

My breath comes in short, desperate gasps, which grow strained with each inhalation. The drumbeat rhythm of my heart pounds against my chest, sending mini-shockwaves to my fingers and toes.

A gentle breeze kisses my cheek, turning my thoughts to Aaron.

I jerk my head off the ground. A scream escapes my lips as burning pain engulfs my every molecule. I fight to move. My unresponsive limbs refuse to help me shift position.

I need help.

Thoughts drift through my mind, pulling me in a thousand directions. Panic steals my concentration and threatens to drag me away. I cry out, fighting against hopelessness. My own distant echo bouncing back at me is the only reply.

Blackness creeps into the edges of my vision, sending my labored breathing into overdrive.

I’m going to die here.

“Somebody, please…” I gag on blood and saliva. My voice is unrecognizable, deep and gurgling.

Where am I?

I lift my head again, fighting against the pain and panic in a frantic effort to get my bearings. I’m lying on the side of the road by a forest. Only the tiniest of buds peek from the trees and shrubs, and after staring at them for a bit, I swear I can see them shiver. I, too, tremble, cold and shaken.

A chickadee sings out its springtime call from a nearby tree, whistling “sweet weather,” and waiting for a reply. A crunch of snow from the nearby forest signals a passing animal, its footfalls soft, cautious.

Frost is still rooted in the ground, and the sky refuses to allow sunshine through the thick layer of haze above. There is a freshness to the air. Renewal, is it? That must be what people mean when they say “it smells like spring.”

The deserted stretch of highway offers little hope; the animals and forest the only witnesses as life slips from my grasp.

No one is coming.

The black advances. My vision retreats. I’m getting colder, the numbness spreading down my body from my arms.

The sound of my ringtone snaps me back to reality. Where’s my phone? My teeth clench in agony. I manage to turn my head.

How did I get here?

The phone is well out of reach—ten feet or so away, ringing despite being under the crumpled remains of the overturned car. What’s left of my mangled right arm flops into view. My mind retreats, resisting the image—twisted, bloodied, the flesh ripped from the visible bones of my forearm.

My outstretched fingers refuse to budge, even to escape the slow-motion pool of red creeping toward them.

My ragged breathing accelerates, my heart races, and I do something I’ve never done before: I pray.

Stay calm.

Survive.

The sound of a distant whistle breaks through my raspy, disjointed plea for mercy, for life.

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http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17452630-life-a-d

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleEReed

https://twitter.com/Michelle_E_Reed

http://month9booksblog.com/

Debut Author Chat and a Giveaway

I am excited to have been selected for YALITCHAT’s Debut Author chat! Please join me this Wednesday, March 6th at 9PM EST for a live Twitter discussion.You can join in by following #Yalitchat. This will be a great forum to ask questions and learn more about some of 2013’s debut authors. Should be lots of fun!

You can find me on Twitter: @Michelle_E_Reed

and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleEReed

Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page (must do both) to be automatically entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card on St. Patrick’s Day.

I look forward to chatting with you on Wednesday!