Posted at 4:19 pm by masummer13, on February 2, 2019
I should be storyboard editing my second book, but I found myself coming to my blog to write some thoughts down.
I realize today I haven’t written much of my 3rd book in a few weeks. Honestly other than writng in my journal or on here, I haven’t really put pencil to paper. Why? Who knows? Writing isn’t my first job, it is Teaching. Then I also have a family. For now I have been focusing more on #selflove and my family than writing. My daughter and husband need me to be present and well hell I am a work in progress. Those two are my biggest supporters through it all and when they need me, then everything else can wait.
Even though this is a hobby, with my book coming out in 20 days there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on for the launch to be successful. To be truthful, I didn’t realize how much work went into AFTER the writing. This has been a learning process for sure. Even through the hard times and stress, I am grateful for this opportunity to publish my book. It still doesn’t seem real to me that this is all finally happening. My daughter is now writing her 1st book at 8. I am so proud of her and if nothing else, I hope that I have inspired her to live out her dreams no matter how long it takes.
I love writing and when the motivation strikes again, I will reach for the paper and pencil and continue to work on the harrowing adventures of Jean Stone. But for now, an 8 year old needs me to read her story and for that I have all the time in the world.
Posted at 5:43 pm by masummer13, on January 29, 2019
As a little girl, I looked forward to having my name in the paper or mentioned on the radio. I thought I was cool with my mother cutting out my name for the AB honor roll or being in a local community play.
Today, I was in the local paper for my book party. Like a kid at Christmas, I tore through the paper locating it and grinning from ear to ear. There before me was an article about Jean Stone. This book means more to me that anyone will ever know. It is me, it is my life, it is my story wrapped up in mystery.
So I ran out and bought 3 copies and I will frame one on the wall next to my two other proud achievements, my Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi & my precious family.
Posted at 3:52 pm by masummer13, on January 27, 2019
I am not a very religious person, it is something I have a struggled with most of my life. I grew up with the typical Southern background, Church every Sunday, church camp etc. Religion was not something we discussed in my household very often. My granny was a very religious person. There were scriptures on the wall in pretty frames, gospel music playing on the turntable, and a GIANT bible on the coffee table. I always felt it was ASSUMED we understand what church was all about, but I do not ever recall having any real conversations with my family about anything.
As I got older, I fell away from church. My parents got divorced and I found other things to preoccupy my time. When I met my husband, we didn’t talk religion other than mentioning our upbringing. We were not married in a church nor did we attend our first service together until after our daughter was born. You see I went to school for Science. Science and Religion do not mix very well. It is an internal conflict that personally deal with to this day. I do not try to fit into any mold or group, but I believe in both.
When we lived in Gulfport, we found the most wonderful church family. Pastor Claire Dobbs was the reason I came back to the church after so many years away. When we had to move back to Texas, I cried to leave such a wonderful place. Even now when I can’t make it to church, I listen to her sermons on line. As I write this, our family is still trying to find the right fit, but for now we have a little church family we spend our Sundays with along with my mother.
After 4 months away from church, I decided I needed to go and start the week off on a good note. Today the pastor talked about God’s plan for us. What is it? How will we know? When will he tell us?
I am very much a controlling person, meaning I feel the need to control all aspects of my life. That when I am out of control, the world crashes around me. That is my adult ADD and anxiety talking, but as I sat there today, I wondered what my plan for his work may be. You see I do not actually want to control every part of my life, but my difficult brain believes that if I do not control it, that all these bad things will happen to me. Truth is, bad things are going to happen regardless if I do or do not have control of things. Many times in my life, even now, I wonder if I do enough around me, do I need to do more, am I doing too much now.
Today as I bowed my head to pray, I asked God to lead me, use me to do his works, use my talents to bring those closer to you, and to find peace within in my decision to let go. For the first time in forever, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Even at 35, I am still learning my story with God, learning how to work with him, not against him and to finally let go and let GOD.
Posted at 7:39 pm by masummer13, on January 24, 2019
I began writing Book 2 shortly after I completed Book 1. It felt like the ideas were coming in rapid succession. My mind wanted to continue Jean Stone’s story. What had started with just one book was turning into a series of close to 20 when I was finished outlining. (It could be more).
While waiting to hear back, I began working on building my audience. Posting my poetry, exerpts from my book, and life’s daily occurences. What you see is me, I hold nothing back. At this point, I had decided to begin sending the manuscript out to other companies in hopes I could land a deal, I was warned this could take years. Oh well, I had nothing but time.
Mid-June, I got an inbox message on Instagram from Jordan at JSmith Publishing. “Hey would you like to publish your manuscript?” What? Of course, wait what was the catch. This had to be a mistake, things like this don’t happen to people like me. I just started! I had already been hit up by Vanity Publishing companies and wanted no part in any of that. So sadly I assumed this was the case, but my heart was interested to hear what he had to say. I spent a little talking to him and found out he lived in the same general area, he was a start up indie company, and he was looking to publish individuals to “jump start” their career. He gave me his spill about what his company entailed, but I told him I want to meet in person, I want to read the contract, and I want to see for myself if this was real or not. I told the hubby you are coming along for backup.
June 27th came with my first rejection. The story was good, but not what they were looking for. Oh well, sorry about your bad luck. I toasted a drink to celebrate my first rejection and prepared for June 29th, the day I was to meet up with Jordan. I was all nerves, unsure of what would come of the day, but in my heart I knew that this was going to be a good day. I could feel it!
We decided to meet at the Barnes and Noble to talk shop over some coffee. My husband and I got a drink and sat down waiting. Up walks this young man who was just as nervous as I was. He introduced himself, made small talk, and sat down to give us his spill.
My non negotiables were already set. One, I didn’t want
to lose my rights to my book. Two, they needed to handle it all as with a full-time
teaching job, I am only able to work on things during breaks and weekends. Three, I
wanted a lot of control over my book and what I thought was best.
30 minutes later with all questions answered a contract was laid out in front of me. We went over it line by line and I realized in my heart, JSmith Publishing is where I wanted to publish my first book. He listened to my concerns, rested my fears, and from his eyes and words, I could tell he meant it when he said he wanted to make this series a success. I was taking a chance, but nothing happens in life if you don’t.
7 months later has seen my book trailer release, publicity for the 1st book, and a launch on February 22nd with a party on the 23rd. There has been so much behind the scenes work to make this dream a reality, but I am enjoying every moment as you only release your first book once. This has been a rollercoaster, but I have learned alot about the process and about myself. I do not know what to expect, but whatever happens I am truly grateful and blessed. Dreams really do come true.
Everybody is welcome to the party! If you are interested, please RSVP by January 31st!
Posted at 6:34 pm by masummer13, on January 21, 2019
While writing my first novel, the name of my MC came to me within the first 20 minutes of writing. The name was Jean Stone. After staring at it, I realized that I liked the name, no I loved it. Curious that it was the first thing that came to mind, I never wavered or felt the need to change it. There was no list making, pondering on what sounded better, and numerous sleepless nights of trying to figure out what would work for the novel. It was good and strong and Jean was the name of my granny, my mother’s middle name, and the middle name of my mother in law. All 3 wonderful woman in my life! As for the last name of Stone, I couldn’t figure out why I chose that till another conversation with my mother weeks later would have me dealt an epiphany.
Now let me tell you. There was NO ONE that knew I was writing this book. The only two people I told were my husband and daughter. This was something I was doing for me, to see if I could actually write a book. My family knew I was talented in creative arts. From Theatre, singing, band, dance, and crocheting, they had seen what I was capable of doing, but this was something I wanted to keep secret until I finished if I finished.
There was nothing riding on this other than finding myself as an individual person not just a Navy Wife. No pressure right? Every day I sat down and let the pencil fly across the paper with the spend of a bumblebee. The story line poured out of me like water from a stream, it felt like I was meant to write this story. I had to write this story, no I needed to write it. My family allowing me the time needed to figure things out. My family was falling apart, somehow I knew that this would save me, save us, but at the time I didn’t know how or why.
By May school was over and we were preparing for our family trip to Disney World. When I wasn’t driving, I was writing. During our stay over in Gulfport, I completed my first manuscript. I was elated! So much work had gone into this, my heart and soul the whole time finding myself as a writer and as a person. It was my pilgrimage, my marathon, my story. As I sat back and contemplated over the work put in, I realized the story was me. My hopes, my dreams, my life.
By this time, my husband and daughter were supporting me in my adventure. I passed along some chapters to a friend, my mother, and my husband. They were amazed at what they saw on the screen before them. A close college friend of mine took it upon herself to read the novel and fell in love, at this point I decided to put my manuscript out for possible publication.
Again, I had nothing to lose by doing it and was curious to see if I could. Even if it didn’t work out, I was proud of my accomplishment. I threw myself into reading about publishing, traditional, hybrid, indie! Nightly I poured over the research in my decision on which route to go. As fate would have it, a manuscript request came across a page I followed for Navy Chief Wives! Here was my chance to see if I had the stuff to make it. So I got everything ready and sent it off, fingers crossed in hopes that maybe this was it!
In a random conversation a few days later, my mom asked me where I got the name for the MC. I told her it came to me, that Jean was of course an ode to her mother, her, and my mother in law. She then reminded me that her married name was Raulston derived from the original version of Raulstone! How had I forgot this? I remember us having the conversation and now here before me, this name was my Granny. The woman I idolized as a child. Her house so warming, full of faith, food, and family. Never a mean word to anyone, always a smile, and warm hug of vanilla perfume. A woman strong in her faith of God, that to this day I joke if she didn’t get to heaven, no one will.
12 years ago today, we lost this wonderful woman to heart failure. She had suffered and survived tuberculosis, asthma, clots, and yet by 2007 her poor body couldn’t keep up any longer and she yearned to go home. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and with this book, I dedicate it to her. I know she would be proud of what I did. I love you Granny, miss you terribly.
Posted at 4:45 pm by masummer13, on January 20, 2019
Since this is a place where you can get to know me. I will start off by telling my story on the road to publishing.
Years ago, a little girl wanted to be a country singer so she sat down and started writing her own lyrics. Fast forward 20 years later and we see that dream didn’t work out for me. That’s ok! My life has been an adventure. My life story is another piece for another time.
Writing has been something that I always enjoyed, even in college. Writing research papers was my strong suit. So much, I had a teacher who had me help her out in her classes my freshman year of college. She is now a fellow friend and mentor.
Last year, started out not so good for me. Life changes were dragging me down and I needed to find myself again after spending the last 13 years being a Navy Wife and mom. My return to Texas brought me my new career, a Biology teacher, but adjusting to normal life was becoming difficult for me. In March, I begin to go back to journaling my thoughts down as a way to cope with the difficult times. As I struggled to keep my life and marriage afloat, I decided to start an Instagram page where I could get my thoughts out away from family and friends. Just some place to vent and express my self.
In a normal conversation one day in early April with a fellow AP and mentor, we were talking about what we were passionate about in our lives. My first thought was science, I loved it, lived it, was raised with it, but my go-to was Forensics. I had started college to work in the Forensic field, spent many years studying it, but as I was attending college, the field was beginning to grow and options were limited for degrees. My path moved me to get a degree in Biology. As the years, went by I realized that dream was dead after I had my daughter. While I loved the field, the stress and harshness can be hard on family life. So as luck would have it, I got a job working as a background researcher for a local company in Vancouver Washington, spending 8 years working with private investigators, the courts, and different types of people. My career goal changed to become a teacher and maybe someday teach Forensics to students. (Still working on that one).
Now back to the story, as I was there talking about it to this friend. She made a comment that would change my life. She said, “I see you writing crime stories, a crime novel one day.” I looked and laughed at her like she had lost her mind. She told me, “Do you not enjoy writing?”. Why of course I did, but to write a novel. I loved John Grisham, James Patterson, and many other wonderful authors, but there is no way I could write as well as them. While I loved it and loved the crime genre, never had I thought to write a book. As I walked back to my classroom for my lunch break, I wondered to myself. Could I write a book? At that moment, I took out a notebook and begin to put words to paper. 6 weeks later, the first Jean Stone novel was born. Named after my precious grandmother, I was proud of my accomplishment. But the next thought was, where do I send this? What do I do? What if they hate it?