Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Battle Plan

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I nearly managed to get everything out of the way before February. MLR edits for Absolutely Eric (Boston Boys #2) has been sent. As has a bunch of formality letters (via snail-mail) and I've sent a bunch of review requests. 

Leftover work from January: Little Stalker and Welcome Brother (CFaG #4 and 5) edits.

This leaves February open for two things: Writing and Hopping.

After using January to tackle my to-do list, I feel like I can finally breathe and that gets my creativity flowing.  I've been trying to choose between the stories I plan to write and have chosen Boston Boys #1.5. It's about Adam and Jesse when they go to see Jesse's mom and it'll be told from Jesse's PoV. For those who hated him after ALWY, perhaps you'll get to like him a little bit better after this (or at least understand him better). There will be Anne to keep the tension going and even someone from Adam's past. The story takes place in Jesse's little hometown (on the farm, to be specific) and yes, there will be some rolling around in hay. I can't promise it'll be devoid of drama - there's always drama around these two, but it'll be less than ALWY. 

I'm calling the book: Mom, I'm Gay.

M/M Only!
But there's more! Norma, K-lee and I are organizing a blog hop that'll take place on May 17th (International Day Against Homophobia). We're calling it Hop Against Homophobia and it's a m/m only hop. That means that the only prices are m/m related things (mostly books, I'm guessing). This also means that if you're an m/m lover, you won't have to swim through f/m blogs to find what you're looking for! More on this later :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fun Facts About NJ Nielsen



I'd like to introduce one of my favorite authors of gay romance: NJ Nielsen. Most of you probably already know this spunky little ball of energy. She has two amazing works out with loads more coming. I got to pick her brains for my blog, but instead of doing traditional interview questions I decided to go for fun-facts:

1) I was named after a race horse.

(EP: That explains so much!)


2) My hero is David Bowie - I still find the guy as interesting today as I did when I was a kid.

(EP: I had a thing for him in The Labyrinth - hey, maybe that's where I developed a thing for goths...)


3) My favourite book of all time is The Host by Stephanie Meyers, & I cry each time I read it.

(EP: One of my favourites as well)


4) I am the youngest child in my Family - I have an older brother and then three sisters older than him.


5) I draw (pencil sketches) and write twisted poetry - poetry note book is called: My book of Twisted Thoughts.

(EP: The beautiful picture is below the 10th fact. I still can't believe you can draw like that!)


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6) My first pet was a dog called Andy Capp (Yes, named after the cartoon. I wanted to name him Dwayne after the guy down the road but my parents said no.)


7) I am terrified of spiders.

(EP: I refuse to post a picture of one *shudder*)


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8) I love the Muppets - Gonzo & Rizzo are my favourites (Yes, I did just go and see the new movie - so worth it for Fozzie & his fart shoes.)

(EP: We're cool as long as it's not Beaker *double shudder*)


9) I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I am a Raphael fan.

(EP: Hey! Now I know why you love Angsty-Adam so much!)


10) I collect Dragon's and Roosters. (Stop laughing I know they are at opposite ends of the scale.)

(EP: Mom collects chicken things. I still don't get it.)

Early sketch of Michael and Christian from
Rules Are Meant To Be Broken. Artist: NJ Nielsen

Thank you, NJ, for letting us get to know the lesser known-sides of you ^.^ 

NJ's very first published story came out as part of the Hot Summer Days and is called Shadows on the Heart. I highly recommend it. NJ's writing style is very unique and you never know what's going to happen next. I'm beginning to suspect it's an Aussie thing (it's the same with Zathyn Priest's books). 

NJ's first MLR Press release was published in December last year and bears the brilliant name Angels on Top. Hunting for Clay (the story following Angels on Top) will be out from MLR Press on Valentines, and she's working with MLR Press to get the first book in her wicket vampire series published, Lines of Marsden: Rules Are Meant To Be Broken.

But there's more! Or more coming. I've often called NJ a work-horse privately (now I have pockets full of ammo after her racehorse confession). The girl writes two blog stories and has her fingers in tons of other things. She's a master of series-creation with at least eight (yes, that's 8) different series in the works - one of which is in 18 parts (Lines of Marsden). Needless to say, I feel more than a little inadequate in her presence. I'd just die with all that going on in my head, lol. I do envy her the amazing titles she comes up with. If there's anything I struggle with it's titles.

Want more? Here's her blog ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fun Facts About Erica Pike


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I've been trying to come up with ideas about what to write on my blog. I couldn't come up with anything clever (my creativity took a hike for the day), so I decided to share some pretty pointless information about myself. I might even ask other authors for fun facts about themselves instead of doing author interviews.

I'm a Geek:

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I love Chuck Norris facts. They're facts - not jokes.

I used to be a gamer...which could explain my love of Chuck Norris facts. I still have a weakness for games, but they suck away my writing time.

I've seen every episode of Stargate Atlantis (loooove it), and I'm a big fan of Firefly. You don't really have to be a geek to enjoy these two series. Just look at the picture to the right! They're oooozing sex and the humor is to die for.

You may have to be a geek to enjoy watching Star Trek Voyager...but come on, Tuvok's a total hottie - looks, personality and humor (or lack there of).


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I'm a Good Girl - Bad Girl:

Most people who know me outside the internet would be shocked to know I write adult content, and if they read it they'd be even more shocked.

I've never tasted alcohol in my life. It has nothing to do with religious reasons or alcoholism in the family (there isn't any). I simply didn't start drinking and am not about to start now (try all you want at GRL 2012 - it's futile).

I've never smoked anything either.

I wanted to be a priest when I gew up. A priest!

I can also be a bad-ass. I own my very own pair of nunchucks and I have a black belt in Taekwondo. I'm a proud member of the World Taekwondo Federation (yes, that does spell 'WTF').


I'm an Animal:

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When I scroll through lol-cat pictures I usually end up laughing so hard I cry.

I've only ever owned black pets: two black poodles, a black cat, and a black hamster. No, I did not own these pets at the same time - except the dogs.

I can't wear socks while I write, no matter how cold it is. Okay, this one has nothing to do with animals, except that some of my socks are made from wool. In fact, none of these indicate that I, myself, am an animal, but what the hey ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yar!

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First off, If you want to get a chance to win a copy of A Life Without You, Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos was kind to agree to host it for a giveaway :) Thanks Chris! All you have to do is leave a little comment saying you want to be added.

Winning a copy is one way to get the book, buying it is another, and stealing it is a third. Yup, A Life Without You has mysteriously found its way to a pirate site. Last I saw, 104 people had downloaded (this was yesterday). I knew this would happen and I was prepared, so it didn't come as a shock to me. What surprised me was that it was out there two days after the release. Thieves work fast!

Anyway, I'm against it. I don't do it myself. I don't even own an ill-gained mp3 song. However, there's very little I can do about it, so all I ask in return is for those who are dishonest enough to deprive me of money is to be decent enough to leave a proper review - any site is good. I'll even make it easy for you: Goodreads (but there's also Amazon, etc.). Those who are buying their copies, you have my deepest gratitude ^.^

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beginner's Mistake in Marketing

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It's been roughly two weeks since Hot Hands released, and five days since A Life Without You came out and I've been busy promoting. My contracts, after all, requires me to do what I can to promote, so it's part of my job. I have a degree in marketing and the subject has always fascinated me, so I tend to look at what other people are doing. Seeing what others are doing, however, and doing the same can be risky without careful consideration first. I'm guessing that most new authors go through a period of trial and error when it comes to promoting and I can only hope the readers bear with it.  

So here I am, posting my own errors in hope that other new authors will learn from my mistakes.

I've made two monumental ones on Goodreads: I rated my own work and I put them on lists. I didn't see the harm in either back when I was a reader. It also made perfect sense from a marketing perspective now. I begun by putting my work on lists like "Best Gay Virginal Characters" and "Best Gay Romance Featuring Characters Attending High School/College" so people who had interest in those kind of stories would be able to find mine (Goodreads doesn't have genre search). But I also put them on other lists. This, however, is frowned upon and ever since it was pointed out to me I've done a little online research and see that it's considered embarrassing, tacky, and desperate by a lot of readers. In fact, some boycott authors who do this. 

I may have made another mistake in a Goodreads Group as well, but I'm not entirely sure. It has to do with 'book of the month' and nominations. In another group, authors are specifically told they aren't allowed to nominate their own books, but in this group there is no such restriction. Out of eight nominations, four were authors nominating their own books. The books to be nominated were to be by new authors, so it may very well be that the moderators are giving new authors a chance to get their own work out there, I don't know. But I'm hesitant about nominating my own book again.

Facebook: There's a delicate line between promoting and spamming and it takes a great deal of thought to figure out where the boundaries lie. I'm hesitant to post on my facebook page every time I get a good review, and yet I'm required by contract to get my work noticed. In the future, should it occur, do I post whenever I'm nominated for an award? It makes sense to let the people who like your work know about it, so they can give you their votes, but it can also be considered tacky and spammy. Do I post whenever I win an award? It's important to let people know that your work is valued by a mass of people to get more readers, but it can also be considered bragging. So what's a poor, striving author to do?

The only way I can see around this one is to make an Author Page and keep most of the updates there. People can choose if they want to follow it or not. Since facebook only lets you message 20 people at a time, I went in a very roundabout way to invite the people on my friends list, with a polite message, promising they'd never receive such a thing from me again. A number responded, so I figure those are the ones who'd like to keep track of the status of my work. That doesn't mean I won't mention the works at all on my timeline. I want to share some of the excitement with my friends, but I'll try to keep it to a bare minimum. 

More to come as I learn...


Friday, January 13, 2012

'A Life Without You' Out Now!


My debut novel was released today! I'm both nervous and excited about it. I suppose every new author feels that way when they see their work baby-walk into the literary world. Don't you just love the cover???

I just got a contract from MLR Press for the next book in this independent series (Boston Boys), called Absolutely Eric. It features Eric Wesley, a secondary character in A Life Without You (he'd scowl and bitch if he ever heard anyone refer to him as "secondary").

The blurb for A Life Without You is as follows:

Jesse’s like a bar of soap: the tighter Adam holds on, the faster Jesse slips away. Or that’s how it feels to Adam. It doesn't help that Jesse has a girlfriend back home and claims to be straight, but there’s no way with all the sparks and physical intimacy flying between the two roommates.
When Adam believes he has reached his ultimate happiness, the walls come crashing down with a visit from Jesse’s girlfriend.
Now Jesse has to decide if he can come to terms with his sexuality, while Adam has to learn to accept that Jesse might never be able to crawl out of the closet.

Here's the purchase links, if you're interested: MLR Press (publisher), Amazon.com, All Romance e-books, Bookstrand. I'll keep posting places as they pop up.

Here's the Goodreads link.

Hot Hands Purchase Links


Hot Hands has been out for about a week and things are doing well :) I was very excited to see a four star review on Goodreads, and then a five star review (!)...that wasn't written by me. Super exciting for a new author, fresh out of her packaging ^.^

I wanted to list the Hot Hands purchase sites in one blog post, so I won't spam my own blog. No one likes spam, though these promo posts are beginning to feel a little spammy. I need to get my butt in gear and post other things here too!


I'm told there will be more :)

Just one more thing. I'm not dissuading anyone from buying from Amazon.com, but many international countries are charged extra $2.50 per e-book and sometimes even more (for me in Iceland, my short story costs $5.34 - which is just ridiculous). If international buyers want to avoid these costs but still get a Kindle version, buying from someone like All Romance e-books, Bookstrand, or from the publisher's store is a good option. Most sales sites have Kindle compatible formats for download (.mobi and .prc). The only difference is that you'll have to download the book (one click), and then manually transfer it to your Kindle (drag and drop into the "documents" folder on the Kindle). It's easy and less expensive. You're not doing the author harm by buying the book for less in this instance - we don't see a dime from that extra cost. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hot Hands Out Now!


Goodness people! Hot Hands came out four days early at No Boundaries Press. I believe it will be available from other sellers on the 8th (not sure though). The price is $2.99 and don't forget to pick up In His Pocket for free if you decide to get Hot Hands (though purchase is not mandatory for the free read!).

Blurb:


For weeks, college student Casper has been the victim of sail-by goosing and groping. The problem is that Casper would very much like to get more than groped by those wonderful, big, hot hands. With a journal full of clues, he sets out to discover who his mystery groper is. However, he may be in serious trouble once he discovers the ominous identity, trouble that has nothing to do with the light bondage involved.

Hot Hands is the first of five in a series of short stories, called ‘College Fun and Gays’. Each story is independent of the others and each covers a deep issue. Hot Hands focuses on the effects of high school bullying for being gay.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

FREE: In His Pocket


Guys! Christmas just came early...or late ^.^

In His Pocket is now available for FREE at No Boundaries Press. It's a short read, but funny (or meant to be).

Blurb:


When Patrick found fourteen year old Matt digging through his trash, he had no idea he was about to take in a foster son. Being a dad, however, was no easy task, especially since the kid managed to leave Patrick dumbfounded more than once as the years passed. 


Now, at eighteen, Matt presents Patrick with a problem on a whole new level - a problem Patrick may not be able to solve. Matt wants him as a lover. 


I know it sounds a little creepy - foster son and foster dad - but it's not really, I promise!


Enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year, people! 

I've had an eventful year - both in personal life and writing life. I wrote two full-length manuscripts and six short stories (one is a short free-bee, and I managed to get that damned fifth in the CFaG (O.o does that say "fag"?) series finished yesterday - on the very last day of the year, lol). All of these will be published in 2012, so one might say I'll be taking the year by a storm ^.^

I've met some wonderful people since I joined the m/m writer community. I felt welcome right away and I'm truly thankful to have met these new friends. They've given me more than a few laughs and loads of support.

I'm happy to be able to tackle all those other stories that have been nagging me for months, now that I'm starting the year with a clean schedule. The problem is...which one do I write first?? I guess I'll sit back and watch them battle it out.

So here's to a new year, filled with publication, more m/m reading, and fun times with friends!

Erica Pike

P.s. I may not have taken that photo, but I've been watching the northern lights all my life and although they're usually just green veils in the sky, I've seen wonderful pinks, purples, blue, and orange dance so vividly I'll never forget them.