This picture of Gracie (the model for Goldeneyes) may look ominous, but she is actually hiding in her box because she thinks a horrible monster is going to arrive. (By “horrible monster” I mean “any friend or relative of mine”. She’s getting a bit more paranoid in her old age.)
And it’s ending tonight!
MAY is my month. MAY Publishing is my publishing house, and MAY are my initials. And because it’s my month, I have put The Catmage Chronicles ebook on sale at $2.99, and the trade paperback discounted as well.
Gracie says: Buy my book! And she should know–she’s the model for Goldeneyes.
Since I’m pretty sure that nobody reads this blog yet, I tend to put most of my information on The Catmage Chronicles Facebook page.
That’s where I wrote about getting five 2′x3′ posters of Julie Dillon’s excellent cover art made up. I plan on using them to advertise book signings, and I may just drive around events with the posters and some copies of my book in my car and see if I can’t find new customers that way.
That’s also where I wrote that I’ve been reading Dave Farland’s excellent Million Dollar Outlines, and how it’s inspiring me and helping me with my own plotting. I wrote another thousand words of the end battle this week, as well as firmed up some important plot points building towards the end. I know there are some writers who can push forward without knowing where they’re going, but I’m not one of them. Now that I have the ending mostly set, it’s going to be easier to move along in book 2. I have a tenative late summer finish, with the book going on sale in early autumn.
The FB page is also where I wrote about finding some old notes that I’d forgotten about. While I eventually intend to make this blog the number one source for all Catmage Chronicles information, well, FB is where people actually interact with me. So if you have a FB account, check out The Catmage Chronicles Facebook page. It’s where things are happening right now.
The trade paperback is no longer on sale at Amazon, though I did see an uptick in sales. Perhaps they’ll run a sale again sometime when more people know my book exists.
The posters of the cover arrived on Monday and they are excellent. I’m going to have a friend help me mount them (translation: Sarah will mount the posters while I hand her things if she asks for them), as I am not crafty in the least.
And the big news: I sold my 200th copy earlier this week, and I know exactly who bought it, as I was speaking to her on the phone while she clicked on the order for Amazon. My cousin Randi, whose son’s bar mitzvah I will be attending next month, was my 200th sale. So in the interest of being fair, there will be no prize. Nepotism and all that.
I’m thinking of using one of the posters as the grand prize for some kind of contest, but I’ve no idea what kind of contest to run, or when to run it. Stay tuned, because I’m sure I’ll think of something. Julie Dillon’s artwork looks even better in a two foot by three foot format.
Amazon put the paperback edition of Darkness Rising: Book One of The Catmage Chronicles on sale. If you wanted to buy it but weren’t happy with the price, it’s under $10 now.
Darkness Rising: Book One of The Catmage Chronicles introduces a secret society of cats with human intelligence and magical abilities who have existed for thousands of years. They must find a way to work with eighth graders, who also have to deal with the real-world problems of bullies, blended families, single parent households—and a principal who is far more than he seems.
This YA fantasy series follows the adventures of Andy, his friends, and the Catmages during the course of their five-year battle with the forces of darkness.
Julie Dillon, the talented artist responsible for my cover, has been nominated for a Hugo Award.
This calls for another look at that gorgeous cover.
Gracie (the physical model for Goldeneyes) turns 16 years old today. She’s arthritic and rheumy and she can no longer jump onto the bathroom vanity, a.k.a. “The Petting Place,” so I lift her up to it these days and place her down on the floor when she is finished drinking from the tap and getting (mostly) enough pats from me. To be honest, I put her down on the floor when I get tired of skritching her, because she would live there if she could. Back when she could still leap up there, in the evening just before bedtime, I’d be playing with Tig (our usual nighttime routine) and Gracie would be waiting, lying comfortably on the vanity beside the sink for her turn. I alternate between the two of them. Tig makes me laugh, and Gracie always purrs her deep, throaty purr when you pet her.
She has a heart murmur. She is allergic to dust, and it gives her asthma. The asthma almost killed her in NJ before it was diagnosed. She had IBD and nearly died from an incompetent vet’s missed diagnosis. And yet, here she is, sixteen years old today, while my poor Tig 2, her “brother” that was raised with her, died five years ago from cancer. Color me still surprised. I thought for sure that Gracie, with all her ailments, would go first.
She got tunafish for breakfast on today, EATAPETA Day. She would have gotten it regardless. She’ll get her usual morning wet food for lunch. And she will get much attention paid to her today, because she is my sweet Princess Gracie, who is the most neurotic cat I have ever had. She is literally afraid of an ant. A carpenter ant crawled on her haunch when I lived in my old apartment complex and the cats were outside on my patio. Gracie saw it, reacted in horror, and ran frantically inside while I collapsed in laughter. I have a picture of it somewhere.
She is the smartest cat I have ever had. She always knows when I’m going to take her to the vet, no matter what I do or how different I try to make the routine. She deduced a long time ago that when I’m wearing my sneakers upstairs, it usually means I’m going to grab her and cage her. So I can no longer wear sneakers upstairs, no matter what. She runs under the bed. If I have to give her medicine, she knows when I’m going to do it. It’s always a battle to grab her before she gets to the bedroom. I swear, she can tell when I’m thinking about giving her medicine.
And yet, she’s used to my friend Sarah’s children, who are the reason Sarah’s blog is called “Life at Full Volume.” When I used to have the four of them over here on an overnight, and Gracie could still walk down the stairs, around 8 or 9:00, she’d slowly walk downstairs and wind her way through the four noisy children to come to me for her evening skritches. Those children and one other are the only people Gracie will stay in the office for. Everyone else gets to see her tail as she zips under the bed.
I adore my sweet girl. And I almost didn’t take her. I just wanted an orange boy to replace my first Tigger. The girl who had him was also fostering Gracie, who, the day I met her, was whiny and crying and covered with milk and rather ratty looking. But look at her now. Gorgeous Gracie, sixteen years old, and still going strong.
Darkness Rising: Book One of The Catmage Chronicles made it into my local paper. Alas, they don’t review self-published books. And they don’t link to them on Amazon, either, which is missing a crucial form of revenue, if you ask me.
But I will. Trade paperback or ebook, also available for Nook. And here’s the ebook on Kobo for my international visitors. And here’s the blurb. Tell your friends and family to buy my book. It’s for the good of the blog. The happier I am, the more I post. The more books I sell, the happier I am.
It’s been hundreds of years since the Darkness last surfaced, a grim time when both humans and Catmages lost their lives. But now the Wild Ones work with humans again, and thirteen-year-old Andy Cohen gets the surprise of his life when a talking cat shows up in his front yard.
Goldeneyes, a powerful Catmage, needs Andy’s help. Her grandmother—the wisest, most powerful Catmage alive—is missing, and her trail leads straight to Andy’s town. But there’s a problem: Goldeneyes doesn’t like humans very much, and Andy is impulsive and reckless. They have to learn how to work together, and they need to do it before the Wild Ones kill Nafshi and steal her powerful Magelight.
In the first installment of this new series, the reader enters a world of magical cats, dark powers, and a boy who finds himself entangled in their war.
Once in a blue moon–nah, not even that often–I do something that is actually handy. Like today, I finally decided to take the whole cushion off my kitchen chair with the broken legs, and replace the ripped cushion on my kitchen chair with the good legs. And because my family would demand photographic evidence that I actually did this, here it is:
The good and the bad:
First things first: I unscrewed the bad cushion from the good chair and took the thing apart. I used a screwdriver that my brother suggested I buy, one of those deals that has interchangeable screw tips, or whatever they’re called. “This isn’t so bad,” I thought as the screws came out easily.
Next, I took the good cushion and fitted it to the good chair frame and discovered that, oh, making chairs is not an exact science and the holes in the cushion from one isn’t necessarily going to fit exactly in the frame of another. Okay. Time to rethink this. So I thought. I probably can just put new holes in the cushion, I realized. But that would be hard with a hand screwdriver. So I decided that it was time to take out the drill that I bought last summer and hadn’t yet used. I think it was summer. I have no idea. I just realized I should probably have a drill at some point, and I had a Home Depot card, so I bought one. Oh, and I never charged it. Which I discovered when I tried to use it. But that was after I had to figure out how to open the “chuck”, and after about five minutes’ hard work, realized that I was trying to turn it clockwise instead of counterclockwise. Figuring that out speeded up the process of removing the chuck and inserting the Phillips-head bit.
Now, I could take the drill and use it to make new holes in the good cushion. Well, except there wasn’t much of a charge, so it was a matter of plugging it in and waiting a minute or so, and then screwing in a screw and when the power drained waiting another minute or so.
Oh, yeah. That’s a wooden tray table the chair is on. I don’t have a worktable. But it worked, so maybe it is a worktable.
Finally, my work is done. I have two good kitchen chairs now (one died a long time ago), and I’m hoping the two remaining chairs don’t collapse under any company. The cushion from the one in the garage collapsed under my niece while she was over for dinner, thankfully not causing any harm to her. But it was embarrassing. Oh. The good chair:
Ta-dah! Meryl fixes a chair. Write this down in your diary, folks, because I think it may never happen again in your or my lifetimes.