Saturday, May 26, 2012

E. Van Lowe Meets Marilyn Monroe

On Thursday, Palm Springs unveiled the 26 ft statue of Marilyn Monroe, welcoming her to her new home on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Road.  I was on hand for a photo-op of this incredible Hollyweird piece of pop art.  The statue of Marilyn is really beautiful, and I was happy to be around to welcome her to California.

The statue was originally unveiled in Chicago about a year ago where it received a cool welcome, mixed reviews and was vandalized several times.  Marilyn received a much warmer welcome to her new home a stone's throw from Hollywood.

Speaking of Hollywood and Hollyweird, there's a sneak peek of my new novel (the first in my Hollyweird series) over at the Bookish Brunette's blog as part of her month-long celebration of zombies--Zombie Craze.  The new book is entitled The Zombie Always Knocks Twice.  It's a YA paranormal book about fifteen year-old necromancer Kristine Golden who lives in Hollywood, California.  The book takes place in and around Hollywood and contains little tid bits of real Hollywood history.  Also, every location mentioned in the book and series are real.  Maybe one day there will be a Hollywood Hollyweird tour.  If you come out to Hollywood, you can definitely visit every location in the book.

Along with the sneak peek is a giveaway of my popular debut novel, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie.

Enjoy the photos, if you get a chance to visit the LA area, drive out to Palm Springs and view Marilyn's statue, and please pop over to the Bookish Brunette's blog and have a read of my Hollyweird sneak peek and participate in the giveaway.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Back!

On May 11th at 8:03pm I sent a tweet that simply stated "I'm off!"  With that tweet I started a 10 day vacation that ended Monday the 21st.  If you read my earlier post entitled How To Take Time Off you will know that I was quite nervous about taking time away from writing and marketing.  But I did it!  While I was off I did check my Amazon ranking a few times each day only to see it soaring, but strangely enough, it didn't bother me.  I knew it was going to suffer, and I told myself if I got the Boyfriend From Hell ranking down to #168 overall, and Earth Angel down to #169 before, I could not only do it again, I could better those rankings and finally enter the vaunted Kindle 100--the top 100 overall selling ebooks on all of Amazon.

So the vacation did its job and cooled me out--no panic attacks, no paranoia, just walks on the beach and Mai Tais.  Now you could say that's because I not only took a vacation, I went all the way to Hawaii.  The photo at the top is sunrise over Maui's Haleakala, a 10,000 foot mountain that is a dormant volcano. 

Every morning at 4 am or earlier pilgrims make the trek up Haleakala to witness one of the most breath-taking sunrises you will ever see.  It was 20 degrees atop Haleakala the morning we trekked up there.  You see I'm not smiling in the photo below, right? That's because I was literally freezing my you-know-what's-off.  Can't you see the frost forming on my mustache? For most of the day afterward I couldn't feel my fingers and swore I had frost bite.  Don't worry.  I didn't.  By mid-afternoon and several margaritas later, I was fine.

The trek up Haleakala was important because I spent my first morning in Hawaii purging myself of all the anxiety I'd built up over the past year of chasing publishing success.  The purge worked.  I am back with new perspective and rearing to go.  I spent today still trying to get through an edit of the first novel in my Hollyweird series: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice.  The publisher told me I needed to have it in by June 1st to make the summer deadline.  I will make it.

The answer to how do you take time off? is simple --you just do.  You just stop what you're doing and relax. You don't have to go away like I did.  I know you feel time away will cost you money... sales... income. But time away from the rat race is valuable.  It doesn't weaken you, it makes you stronger. So please, please take a break from the race--one day, two days, it doesn't matter.  We all need time off.  Hey, look at me, a week ago I was fretting, now I'm Yoda.

This last photo is of me walking in the surf.  I chose it to show the contrast Maui offers, and what the heck--for an old guy who sits at a computer all day I'm not too shabby without my shirt on ;-) Anyway, now I'm back to annoy you with tweets, and contests, provocative blog posts, and hopefully some really good books.  You will be hearing something new and exciting from me very soon.  In the mean time,  Peace.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Victor Valley College

Thursday evening I had the pleasure of speaking and reading at Victor Valley College in Victorville, California.  What a fun event.  Five authors read and answered questions for an SRO audience.  The event was conceived by former student and VVC faculty member, Pat Wagner.  It was her first event of this kind, but I am sure from the response from the audience and authors that it will not be the last.  Congratulations, Pat.  I have pictures, but I can't find the cord that connects my camera to my computer. Oh, well.

I had my first experience with autographing in the digital age.  Many students who had already purchased Boyfriend From Hell online brought autograph books.  And two people had me autograph their Nook covers.  How cool! That was a first for me. 

And now for serious business. If you read my last post you know the time has come for me to take some time off.   I plan to take some R&R from right now until Monday the 21st.  No Twitter, Facebook or blogging for a week.  No book marketing--or writing. I will try to keep up with my emails.  If you see me tweeting or on FB you will know I was not able to take a week off without some Internet stimulation.  Wish me luck. 

For those of you who would like to win a copy of Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel, I will be holding Goodreads giveaways next week, while I am off.  The Earth Angel giveaway is from May 14th thru the 17th.  Boyfriend From Hell is from May 17th thru the 20th.  Head on over to Goodreads on the dates given and win.  Good luck.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Take Time Off

While the title to this week's post poses an answer, the truth is, "how do I take time off?" is a difficult question for me to answer.  To begin with, I don't know how.  It's not that I am some super driven workaholic who can't stop (although I have to admit I am driven), it's how do I stop and keep things afloat?

Like many of you, I am a writer.  I am a full time writer, which means writing is how I earn my living.  I do not have a side job.  I do not teach or consult.  My days are spent writing and marketing my work.  And for me, that is a full time job.  This year two of my novels (Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel) reached the top 10 on the Amazon ebook Best Seller list for Children's & YA books.  They did not arrive there by happenstance.  It took a lot of marketing to get my books there.  But I have noticed that I spend far less time reading than I once did.  The time I once spent reading, I now spend writing and marketing.

But the time has come for me to take a much needed break.  I've been feeling the burnout coming for some time.  And so I plan to take a week off.  A week of R&R.  A week where I will try not to tweet, or Facebook or blog.  A week where I will recharge my batteries, hopefully for another year.  But here's the thing--I feel that as soon as I stop, my sales will stop.  This week I have cut down on my marketing, and already my sales have begun to slip. So instead of me spending the week resting, I will spend the week worrying.  So, I have a question for you: how do you find the time to take a break without worrying that when the break is over your career will be over, too?  I'd love to hear any and everybody's thoughts on this.  In this new digital age, it is getting harder and harder to get away from it all.  Please tell me how, or if, you do it.

For those of you in the Victorville CA area tomorrow, Thursday May 10th, I will be speaking and reading at Victor Valley College at 5pm.  The students in the writing program have read Boyfriend From Hell as an assignment, and I hear they will have lots of questions for me.  Five other authors will also participate. The event is open to the public.