Lift Launch!

So Saturday, April 21st, was my launch party at the Book Nook & Java Shop. I had my nervous breakdown the Tuesday before (Would anyone come? Would I sell any books?) Well, I had no reason to be nervous.

I spoke for roughly twenty minutes on Coney Island, carousels, and writing Lift. My hubby recorded me; it’s on YouTube (L. M. Ransom Lift). I took some questions, and then sat down to sign books.

And ran out of copies before the end of the line. Never expected that! I wasn’t expecting the amount of people who came, either. Friends, family, a coworker, my hubby’s coworkers, and people who I didn’t know. It was a terrific turnout! Everyone was encouraging and excited, and I had an awesome time. It was more than I could’ve hoped for, which isn’t surprising. God has blessed everything about Lift.

My next event is Saturday, May 26th, from 4-5 pm, at Gales IGA in Hart, Michigan. I’m looking forward to it; I doubt I will have any anxiety, now that I have the launch party behind me.

Here are some pictures!

Launch Day!

It’s finally here: Lift officially releases! This day has been a long time coming; I’ve wanted to be an author for a long time now.

If you’re in the vicinity of Montague, Michigan this afternoon, I will be at the Book Nook & Java Shop from 4:30-6 pm, talking a little about Coney Island carousels and the inspiration behind Lift. I will also be selling and signing copies of the novel, which is the first in the Flying Ponies trilogy.

This picture was taken at the Grand Rapids Museum this past March. The horse is an armored charger from their 1928 Spillman carousel. They are one of my favorite types of carousel horses. This particular one will serve as inspiration for one of the Flying Ponies in the second book in the trilogy, Tilt.

Have a blessed day and hope to see you this afternoon!

Launch Day Approaches…

We are now T minus four days from launching Lift, first in the Flying Ponies trilogy. It is a great feeling to be here, this close, but I have to admit to you – a little frightening, too.

As an indie (independent) author, my book isn’t debuting with all the fanfare a Big 5 book would get. There are no ads in glossy magazines, no write-ups in the New York Times, and no appearances on Good Morning America. It is, however, getting a launch party at the very cool book store, the Book Nook & Java Shop, on Saturday. It has three very nice reviews on Goodreads, and it has a KILLER cover. I mean, have you seen it?? So what is so frightening?

The fact that it might not sell well.

You see, indie authors, unlike Big 5 ones, pay for different book services. I have an outstanding editor and publisher, but I also pay them for their help. Now, when my book sells, I don’t owe them anything, whereas a Big 5 author owes money out of their sales to both their publisher and their agent. It is a big decision whether to go indie or Big 5; I have been nothing but happy and content with my decision to be an indie.

However, this also means that Lift needs to make back enough to publish the next book in the series. And so on and so forth. To be completely honest, I’m not really that worried, though. Or at least, I try not to be. I have felt blessed by God from day one of this journey, from the first inklings of the story up to right now as I write this. Still, it’s good to remember that I want writing stories to be a business.

So, overall, I’m super excited about Saturday. I’m excited to share Lift with others. I’m excited that God has blessed me with some writing talent.

And I hope to make some money. Oh and by the way, the gorgeous carousel horse below? He is a Charles Looff original, circa 1900. He was once part of Marianne Stevens’ carousel collection, and is now for sale since she passed away. You could own him, if you have $49,500 lying around.

He is also the model for Penumbra, the lead horse of the Flying Ponies Grand Carousel, featured in Lift. The photo is not mine, unfortunately. It is borrowed from a carousel website.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

What’s Happening Next

So as most of you know, Lift is now available as a Kindle pre-order, and the soft cover ARCs are in my hands. Three have been sent out to others. One will go to someone who will review it for our local paper, and one is staying right here with me. So what comes next?

The release party is being held April 21, from 4-6:30 pm, at the Book Nook & Java Shop, in Montague, Michigan. The book will be available from Amazon on that day as both an e-book and a trade paperback. I am also going to have the book available from other distributors; most notably from Ingram, from whom most libraries order their books.

The second book in The Flying Ponies trilogy, Tilt, is complete. I won’t look at it for 6-8 weeks or longer. When I do begin going through it, I will be looking at how it flows and what changes need to come about. When it’s as far as I can take it, it will be sent to my editor, Kat Szmit, and together we’ll mold it until it’s ready.

In the meantime, give or take a month or two, I will begin writing Spin, the final book in the trilogy. Once The Flying Ponies is finished, I’ll begin work on the next story, which I’ve already started notes for.

The writing life is busy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Lift Off!

So just a quick announcement: Lift has been completely edited, and emailed to my publisher. After she reads it, I may have to make some more edits, but even so – Lift has left the desk! It has been a huge undertaking. 

Writing a book is largely a lonely endeavor. It’s just you, some notes, and a blinking cursor. Lift was started in August 2016 and completed in February 2017. It then sat for six or seven weeks before I began the initial edits. My husband, Ryan, was a huge help in the final editing round. He caught things that I hadn’t noticed. 

Now Lift begins the next part of its journey. I am beyond excited to work with K. R. Conway of Wicked Whale Publishing, and to see where this writing venture takes me. 

Continuing to LearnĀ 

My niece and I are attending the 2017 Breathe Conference tomorrow, October 6. It will be our first time there, and our first time going to a conference together. We’re excited, a little nervous, and ready to learn. 

It will be interesting to be with so many other writers. Writing is a solitary action. Most of us are introverts. I know I prefer small groups to large ones, but sometimes getting out of my comfort zone is good. Getting to talk writing with so many other people will be an amazing experience. 

Continuing to learn about the craft of writing is important. I cut my teeth writing reams and reams of fan fiction. Writing for those fandoms helped me learn what to do and not do. I learned (hopefully) how to deal with unflattering reviews. But not everything can be gleaned from just writing.  Going to conferences and seminars teaches you new ideas, builds your confidence, and lets you mingle with others who “get” you. 

I will post this weekend after the conference and let you know how it went. Have a blessed night, and a wonderful Friday. 

Sometimes, They Whisper

I don’t know about you, but sometimes as I’m writing, or looking on Pinterest for models for my stories, my characters whisper to me. They tell me what kind of castle they should live in, or how blue/brown/green their eyes should be. I used to tell them to shut up, but now, I listen. They always seem to know best, and they almost always get their way.

When I start thinking of a new story idea, I jot the ideas down in my Moleskines, if I have any handy. Cheaper versions of this popular notebook work, too. I prefer ones without lines, but hey, I’ll use whatever I can reach. And I need a good pen. It doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, some of my favorites are just plain old Bics (fine or medium point). Anyway, after I get my notebook and pen (no pencils, people), I write down what’s careening around inside my head.

This usually includes character descriptions, snippets of dialogue (it’s fun if it’s between two people arguing, like Dec and Bannan), and some plot points. When I first started working on what would become Peril at Stormsurge, I had a huge blue three-ring binder that I packed full of notes. I cut pictures of character models from magazines – this was back in the day before Pinterest, when one actually had to go through magazines to find character inspiration. Yes, this story has taken me that long. But the problem with all that plotting and outlining was that my characters were taking shape, becoming real and whole, and well, they had different ideas about what they looked like, and where they were going to live.

I tried to shut them up. Really, I did. I wouldn’t work on the story, which just gave them time to rally together. Their whispers got a lot louder, until I finally gave up. I gave in. And they went back to whispering behind my back, plotting out their own courses through the story. Whenever I did something they didn’t like, they got louder. So now, I just listen to the whispers. And I think my writing, their story, is really much better for it.

I browse Pinterest and other sites with one ear tuned into them. They let me know when they see a picture of themselves, or of a place they want to visit, or a place they want to live. It’s much more of a partnership now than it used to be. And it only took me, oh ten years or so to find out that truth.

You’re probably thinking by this point that I’m mad as the hatter. Well, that just might be. I’m definitely unique. But then, aren’t we all? What works for you probably wouldn’t work for me, and vice versa. I’m just letting you know that this is how it works best for me. You have to find out how it works best for you and your characters.

But you know, it wouldn’t hurt to at least listen in a little to the whispers.