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GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES

Have you noticed there’s a new book on the block?

Dilemma: The original Grid Down Survival story made its appearance in 2018 as a Young Adult book, THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS. The book was a blend of the stories of Major Dave Elliott and his granddaughter, Aimee Louise, but didn’t quite reach all the  readers who would enjoy the story.

Easy Fix: A “Major” (did you see what I did there?) adjustment, and DANGER IN THE CLOUDS expanded to focus on more of Major’s story and was released in January 2019.

A Series is Born: DANGER IN THE CLOUDS became Book 1 of the GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES in 2020 when DANGER IN THE WIND, Book 2 was published. Watch for Book 5 in June 2022!

Dilemma: The Girl Who Saw Clouds still had a lot of non-YA adulty boring stuff.

Fun Fix:  THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS underwent a huge Minor (get it?) rewrite, and THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS, SECOND EDITION was released in January 2022.

Related to A Series is Actually A Thing: Because THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS is the same story as Book 1, except it’s from Aimee Louise’s point of view, the next book to read is DANGER IN THE WIND, Book 2.

Your Dilemma: Should you read both DANGER IN THE CLOUDS and THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS? Aren’t they exactly alike? It’s up to you because both books tell the same basic story, and you’ll know what happens next and how the book ends. There won’t be any surprises for you except remember that even if two people go through an experience together, their points of view are different. Your choice, but either way, if you enjoy one or both of the books, you can continue on with DANGER IN THE WIND.

Friendly Fix: Confused? Tell me what confused you, and maybe I can help!

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Out with the Old; In with the New

The Girl Who Saw Clouds

GirlSawCloudsFrontCover5 Jan 2022

New GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES Book 1 a novel for YA readers.

Autistic and Orphaned. The nation’s survival depends on her.

Aimee Louise doesn’t see faces; she sees clouds. Happy, sad, and worried clouds, but most importantly, she sees the clouds of danger.

A local transformer explodes, but it’s only the beginning of the coordinated, widespread collapse of the nation’s grid and economy. When the power-hungry criminal discovers the information to stop his plan to take over the US government is hidden at the new family’s farm, the attacks escalate and become personal. The target is Aimee Louise.

Sometimes all it takes is the willingness to Go For It!

A week or so ago, I was on track to finish a new book that’s already set for preorder on March 15 when the admin of a really cool authors’ association announced only two members had submitted books for the upcoming Young Adult Science Fiction promotion that the association was sponsoring.

I had a YA Sci-Fi book! Of course, it was written in 2018 and was my second book. For any authors who are reading this and suddenly remembered your own second books, I heard your groans.

I assumed all Book #2 needed was a teensy rewrite to clean it up a bit; nice thought, but after I dived in, I was shocked at how awful it was. The story was good, the characters were great, but the writing was rough.

My talented editor, bless her fearless, flaming, red pen, and I did a four-day marathon of painful, exhausting writing, cutting, rewriting (me), and ruthless editing (her), and the end product was a brand-new book, Second Edition, Book #20!

I submitted the Second Edition with its own new cover, and BOOM! The Girl Who Saw Clouds, Second Edition, is included in the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors, IASFA, promotion from January 23 – January 27. Here’s the link to the promotion where you’ll find 14 sci-fi novels that will be FREE through January 27: https://iasfa.org/get-free-books/

If you’ve read DANGER IN THE CLOUDS or even the original THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS, you already know the story, but the Second Edition has a bit of new material that wasn’t in either of the other two. You might enjoy a fresh read!

If you haven’t read any of the GRID DOWN SURVIVAL Series books, dive into the new second edition. BONUS! It’s free all five days from January 23 – 27.

TheGirlWhoSawCloudsBuy

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Author Goals – 2022

strategy_image 2022

The road to 2022 is particularly appropriate because road trips are part of the plan.

RECAP

2018 Goals: Publish a book Results: Published two books

2019 Goals: Publish four books and earn a prestigious award Results: Published four books and received three prestigious awards.

2020 Goals: Publish four books, receive a prestigious award, sell one book through a bookstore; and stretch goal, end the year with a POSITIVE net income. Results: Published six books, received a prestigious award, sold books in US and UK bookstores, and ended the year with a POSITIVE net income.

2021 Goals: Publish six books including Book 1 of a New Series, sell a complete series through a bookstore, a wild dream of a stretch goal: end the year with a positive net income; and a bonus goal for 2021: Tame the wild unicorn.

2021 Results

  • Published six books including Books 1-3 of a new series
  • Sold 1 complete set of a series through a bookstore
  • Sold 4 complete sets of a series at in-person signing events
  • Sold and signed books at two in-person signing events
  • Wrote a short story that was included in a Halloween anthology
  • Attended a national book conference and incurred travel and lodging expenses but gained an incredible amount of knowledge.
  • Ended the year with a positive net income, and I learned a lot about marketing in 2021.
  • Tamed the wild unicorn! There’s a saying among authors that if a book receives 50 reviews on Amazon, the author receives a Unicorn. I received more than 50 reviews on 6 books: Each Book 1 in all four series, and Book 2 in two series. BOOM! Unicorns tamed!

UnicornsandCoffee

GOALS for 2022

  • Publish six books
  • Publish a Halloween novella
  • Publish a trilogy boxset
  • Write a Survivalist SciFi short story
  • Sell and sign books at four in-person signing events
  • Attend the national book conference (Road Trip, Baby!)
  • There’s a saying that when readers read more than one million pages of an author’s books in one month, the author has caught the Wild Rainbow Trout.

Bonus Goal: Capture the wild Rainbow Trout!

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More than Ever…Survival

The GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES continues with Book 4, DANGER IN THE FIELD.

A killer obsessed with hate seeks revenge.

Stuart and Aimee Louise scrap their plans to return to Florida when their neighbors fall victim to home invasions and murder. After the ruthless gang halts all travel with roadblocks and the attacks escalate, Stuart and Aimee Louise suspect someone on their team is the target. When the callous enemy closes in, Stuart and Aimee Louise plan their own attack.

Stuart, Aimee Louise, and Rosalie stayed in Georgia because lawlessness still rules. No electricity has become the new normal as their fight for survival continues in Book 4 of the Grid Down Survival saga.

GRID DOWN SURVIVAL is best enjoyed by starting with Book 1: DANGER IN THE CLOUDS as our SURVIVAL heroes grow with each new adventure.

DangerInThe CloudsBuy    DangerInThe WindBuy DangeronThe RoadBuy DangerinTheFieldBuy

GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES BOOKS 1 2 3 4 June 2021

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2020 – View from the Author’s Seat

My goal for 2020 was to write and publish four books.

One of the four books I planned was a complete rewrite of a novella because it was Book 1 of a series. Little did I know in my younger years – back in the day – of 2018 that a novella is not Book 1 of a series of novels; instead, it is Book 0.5. Learning is fun. And hard. New Book 1 became a novel and is officially Second Edition of Book 1.

The other three books were planned to be one book for each of my three series. My editor was busy, as all editors are, but she was onboard for four.

Then 2020 happened, and just like the rest of the world, both my editor and I were less busy than we had planned. I wrote, she edited, and I published six books in 2020.

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Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1

What Is a Reader Magnet?

A year ago, I had no idea what a reader magnet was. In my literalness, I envisioned a nice refrigerator magnet with a picture of a book and a puppy. And maybe a kitten and a chicken for good measure. I don’t know about anybody else’s readers except mine – but we all like books, puppies, kittens, and chickens.

Then I stumbled across the idea of a “short story” that would give a reader a taste of the author’s brilliant writing. My first thought: That’s dreadful.

The Short Story that Wasn’t a Reader Magnet

Case in point: I wrote a short story called Barter and Bargains three years ago and submitted it to millions of contests. (I typed jillions, but autocorrect frowns on exaggeration.) The maximum word count allowed was 5,000, so I had to trim my 7,500-word story back with a hatchet.

I received two recurring criticisms:

  1. The story was too nice.
  2. The critic/judge wanted to know more about the characters.

I learned four things from the experience:

  1. I write nice characters that people want to know more about.
  2. I am a great storyteller.
  3. My writing craft skills needed work.
  4. I can’t write short.
  5. Wait, make it five: I’m not deflated by criticism.

Continue reading “Reader Magnet Short Story, Chapter 1”