Friday, July 20, 2012

10 Years from Today Michael Swam out of my Brain

Day 5!!! Exactly 10 years from this date Michael escaped the churning confusing that is my brain and found a voice on my page during the first free write I ever wrote. Read the whole story here. If you don't know the story of how he got trapped swimming in my subconscious, you can read that here. So hooray!! Dance and sing, "Happy Birthday to Michael!"

You have until August 31st to  enter the big giveaway and  download the new Kindle Taken by Storm ebook for only $0.99. Until midnight tonight get Unbroken Connection and Cayman Summer free on Kindle. They will be on sale for $0.99 through August 31st.

This week well over 3,000 readers have downloaded Unbroken Connection and 2,000 downloaded Cayman Summer. Unbroken Connection broke into the top 100 free on Amazon and stayed at #1 on Kindle's Bestsellers in Children's Social Issues list. Taken by Storm made it onto the coveted Bestselling Books for Teens on Love and Romance list--and hit #12 at one point. Now that's something to celebrate. Lots of new readers to welcome to our family.

It's been so much fun to reminisce with old friends and meet new ones. Thanks to all of you who helped make this week happen. Today, I reveal why I love to write break-your-heart-coming-of-age teen romances at Imaginary Reads. Thanks, Kris for hosting me.

Plus, my favorite protege (I like to call her that because she is so brilliant), Jennifer Shaw Wolf, is hosting me on her blog. Stop by and read the interview and check out her fantastic debut release that everyone is talking about, Breaking Beautiful. I am so proud of her. She is a fantastic writer. Jen reaches out and nurtures everyone in her path. She is made of kindness. That comes through in her writing and makes you love her characters with unusual intensity. I am thrilled for her.

Leading up to this week of celebrating, I've republished "Storm's Story" that I wrote to chronicle Taken by Storm's journey on my original website. I saved this post to share with you today. I wrote it from Singapore.

Happy Birthday, Michael and Leesie. And thank you all for keeping them in your hearts. Sharing their story with you continues to be an amazing journey. Each new person who reads Taken by Storm feels like a sister. I treasure each one of you.

My husband took this picture of TAKEN BY STORM at the Times Square Barnes and Noble in NYC!
"Taken by Storm on Sale this Week"
from "Storm's Story," March 9, 2009

I thought this week would never arrive and all of the sudden it’s here. Lexa sent me this launch day present--the preliminary cover for my next Razorbill novel, SING ME TO SLEEP. What do you think? I’m loving it. Best present ever.
Actually, that's not what it looked like--but that's another story!
They are considering changing the cover for TAKEN BY STORM’s paperback to be consistent with this more understated tone. That could be good, too.

I celebrated this week putting together the final details for my launch tour. No time to party--yet!
The real celebrating starts in a couple of weeks when I hop on a plane and come flying home. The tour has been a ton of work to put together, but it will be a blast. I’m speaking at 31 schools across five states--Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Arizona--and doing five bookstore events. I’ll be blogging about the tour on ChatSpot.

I’m in SINGAPORE, so I haven’t got to see TAKEN BY STORM actually on a bookstore shelf yet, but I heard from one of my dearest writer babe buds who moonlights at an upstate NY Barnes and Noble. She says they got FIVE copies in. That’s a lot for a debut author. YIPPEE!!!

And there is an e-version available. Amazon is hawking it for their new Kindle.

I have to confess to a naughty secret . . . I’ve become totally addicted to tracking my Amazon sales rank numbers. The realities of expat author-dom. The first time I looked at it back in February it was 1,070,448. The lower the number the better you book is selling--so over a million isn’t too hot. But then it jumped to 190K the very next day! After that it crept up slowly to 600K. Launch day, March 5, it was down to 140K. Yesterday it zoomed back up to 300K, but TODAY it’s 45,309 for all books and #47 for children’s fiction on death and dying--kind of a gloomy list, but I’ll take it. And, drum roll, this is big . . .  #91 on teen fiction that deals with dating and intimacy. I have no idea what all this means in terms of sales, but--as addictions go--it’s relatively harmless.

Who knew I could be this crass and commercial about my art? Writing is a business, too, though. If I want my art to continue--especially Michael and Leesie’s story--TAKEN BY STORM must sell well. In the realities of today’s market, AMAZON can make or break that. I kind of have to pay attention.
My Michael and Leesie bulletin board. It's pieces are now in BYU's Special Manuscript Collection.  I tore that magazine cover off a Scottsdale tourist magazine. Doesn't that couple look like Michael and Leesie grown up?

Oh, how young and naive I was as an author. What I didn't know then was how much I'd have to overcome to continue Michael and Leesie's story and how many amazing readers and bloggers would be there to help me do it.


  1. Just finished Taken by Storm. Loved Leesie's and Michael's story. I just bought #2 to read next. I'm excited.

  2. I hope you enjoy it just as much, Charissa! Thanks for posting.