Some start up advice, no it doesn’t involve a crank.

seo

Hi and such!
In my last post I said that I’d write a little ditty about some blog design tips (WordPress only). If you have a different host I don’t know what to tell you…come to WordPress, we have cookies. I mean I don’t but someone somewhere does.
I digress.
When I started my site/blog a year and a half ago, I had zero knowledge of how to get one up and running and even less know how on designing it to look as if I’d paid a techy pants to do it. Now I’m not saying that my site rivals those that excel in the site design industry (cause that would be crazy) but as sites go, mine ain’t too shabby.
I chose WP because, well another author used it and I totally dug their site. I did a little research and learned that WP was user friendly, meaning that I wouldn’t have to learn lots o’ HTML code to get snazzy features such as…name some.
But I chose I very basic set up and used the cover of my book as the background, and that was fine at first. But after a few months, I began to hear the “ughs” from internet visitors on my site. Since launching my site, I’ve viewed thousands of other author sites, some worse than mine, many better. And that just wasn’t cutting it for me. So I took some time and Goggled SEO plug-ins and how to install them on my site. That’s when I learned that WordPress does most of the coding crap for us! WOW!
Phew, glad that’s out of the way.
But I still didn’t like that my site was just a giant cover of my book, self promotion is great and all, but I even got tired of looking at it. I wanted people to see my brand, not just that book I wrote. When you go to a website, you don’t want one thing shoved down your eyeholes (at least I don’t) so I worked with a lovely chic at IceyDesigns who created my brand logo, that awesome Frankie Ash Author of Sci-Fi and Fantasy pic to your right! Yeah it’s bad-ass!
So, I looked back at some WordPress themes, tried a few out and found one that I love. I still had to snatch some HTML code for the social media buttons but I learned how to do that from WP too!
WordPress has tons of awesome content and customization features and that’s why I love it here. Of course there is tons more about site design and how WP can help you achieve a great design that suits your needs, but you have to invest the time in researching and reading and learning and reading and learning…or you could just pay someone to do it.

I’m so fancy…and so on

redesign

Hello to every person who happens to stop in and read this!!

I have been hard at work, can’t you see? I hooked my site up so that your eyes don’t dry out and fall from their sockets whilst you are visiting…ain’t it pretty!!!

It took lots of time and research to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, but I think I did a good job, and more importantly I feel the site represents me and not just my work.

So, in the near future, I will post about how I did this redesign, and hopefully give some good advice to those who need it. For those of you who are far superior in your techness, leave a reply and learn me something. To the rest of you who might be first timers leave questions and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Starting up a site is tough (like putting out a campfire with your face) and I’ve only been at it for fourteen months, but if you are determined, as I ams, then you’ll eventually overcome the crazies of creating your own website/blog/home away from home/…

 

So What’s The Fuss About Scrivener?

I’ve been debating on using this software, until I came across this post on Fantasy Faction. I’m going to give it a try. I’ll report back if there are survivors.

Review of Scrivener, the word processor for writers.

via So What’s The Fuss About Scrivener?.

Blog Changes (sounds like an interesting read right?)

Here’s the deal pickle; this blog will be undergoing some changes.

Not this kind of change.

Some really cool things are happening in my writer world and because of that I am directing all power from my brain cells to my work. Because of this…

I will be converting my blog to the website for my works.  There will still be a Blog tab, but I will be using it for write-ups on events and such. But….

If you truly dig what I do and want to keep riding the Frankie Ash train, hook up with me on Twitter and Instagram (author_frankie_ash). Also….

I am working on a newsletter that I would like to send out on the regular, so when I get that ready to go, I will post here to direct you guys where you can go to email sign up. Ya dig?

While I have your attention (and if I don’t…HELLOOOO!!!) I would like to tell you guys to look out for the August issue of Sci Fi magazine. ERAMANE will be in it!!!!! And, if you happen to live in/around/other prepositions that work the Winchester, VA area, the lovely folks at Winchester Book Gallery are hosting a signing for ERAMANE August 16th at 3p.m.

If you don’t preposition that area, look for future announcements on my events in the D.C. area.

Ok:)

 

 

Angry Robot Books discontinues Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Imprints.

Image from Strange Chemistry Site
Image from Strange Chemistry Site

Upon hearing the reports this morning of Angry Robot Books discontinuing two imprints: Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books, I immediately went to the Twitter feed that surrounded this news. Hundreds of authors/readers/industry professionals are tweeting their thoughts/condolences and it shows how extremely personal this feels to all us authors/bookish folks, (I’ll stop forward-slashing everything now).

My first reaction was to Tweet my 140 character “sorry” but then it occurred to me that I have a bigger voice than 140 characters. I have a fan base (small, but powerful…so I like to think) and it’s my obligation to pull my efforts in another way. I can actually support these authors.

Frankie, what are you getting at? Are you a magician? All this holding out has got me on my seat’s edge. All thoughts I’d like to think ya’ll are thinking.

So, here are my thoughts. The purpose of this blog is 1) to inform those who do not know of this new. Read it here. And 2) to list the authors affected by this and their works so yous (yeah yous) can go show your support (actions are louder than words).

Go forth yee readers\authors\industry professionals (I said I wouldn’t forward slash gah) buy a book! Post it with your lovely face or cat or dog or ferret or ant collection. Show off your fabulous Tropical Smoothie alongside your newly purchased book! I’ll have mine up as soon as I get out today to get one. And don’t forget to hash-tag them! Or use this one #happytosupport. Eh? I’m open to suggestions on that one.

And, if you are unable to dish out the dollahs, support these authors by other means. Give them a shout out on Twitter, write a blog post on one or more of your favorite authors from these imprints,  vlog yourself, or your dog, or cat, or ferret, or ant collection? rolling around in copies you might already own…spread the word man!

I HAVE ARRIVED…safely back home.

Me at the IBPA booth, and that's one of my team members behind me.
Me at the IBPA booth, and that’s one of my team members behind me. He thinks he’s funny. We think he is too:)

I’m back from my trip to the Book Expo America in New York. I had so much fun…once I stopped freaking out.
Here’s my little story…
I went with a team…my peeps, and we represented ERAMANE as best we could, minus the banter we flung at passers-by (I think at one point I said all vowels to one lady.)

I think I'm funny too.
I think I’m funny too.

When we arrive at the Javits Center, I was immediately congratulated by the lady who checked my in and gave me and my team out badges (thanks nice lady) and that set the tone for the rest of my experience.
I was extremely nervous, because here I am, little ol’ me, among (by that I mean off in a corner, nowhere near them) some of the greatest writers of today. Yet, from the moment I walked through the doors I was treated like “the Queen,” as Margaery Tyrell says in Game of Thrones.
Once I found the IBPA booth, I was immediately greeted by Terry Nathan and Molly ??? (I’m sure she has a last name, but in this post it’s a series of question marks.) They took me in and fed me, no better way to put it really. Thanks guys!
The signing was a hit; I ran out of 30 books in under 15 minutes (who knew?) and had to hand out rain-check forms to the ones who didn’t get their free signed copy.
All-in-all, though, despite that I ran out of books, ERAMANE was noticed. My sign caught the attention of anyone who walked by…and there were soooo many! I even heard people say, “Hey I saw that online.” And, “WTF???!!! Really? Awesome!” to myself of course.
Oh, and my husband lost his [soul]. Yup the bottom of his shoe came right off just before we reached the Javits Center. Funny story…I’m going tell it.
Okay, so we were walking from the ferry terminal to the BEA and we all heard this duck-ish noise. My husband, holding a box of ERAMANE books, looks down and sees that his sole is flappin’. Then (and you might not believe this) we look across the street and a truck opens it back door and guess what’s inside??? Yes!!! Fricking black shoes just like the ones my hubs is wearing. Boxes and boxes. They just start unloading them onto a table and putting yellow signs up with prices. It was crazy. But no, we didn’t buy any…he had another pair in the car back at the hotel, so I just told him to walk quietly, “Don’t draw attention to it!” His shoe made it back to the car at the end of the day…then to the trash:(
Well if you made it this far, I’m happy that you cared enough to learn about my experience at my first ever book expo. The way things are going, it looks like I will be attending many more. I belong in the book world; I plan on staying here.

 

Blog hopping…Why and how I write what I write

once

So, Lindsay Cummings (author chic who wrote a book I can’t wait to read…The Murder Complex) unofficially called me (by me I mean everyone) out to write a post on their writing process. At first I was like, “I don’t wanna, cause my writing process is top secret and, well, I don’t want to have to flash that little red light from M.I.B I, II, and that other one in ALL.THE.EYES. But then I figured, why not, I haven’t used it in a while.
So, hopping on Mrs. Lindsay’s Divulge your most secrety secrets train, I shall reveal.
1. What am I working on?- At this very moment I have a doc opened and minimized, and it’s labeled “My Sci-Fi WIP”. Most of you know a little about it because I have posted some peak-a-boos on my blog. But it’s quite more than just a YA Sci-Fi book, as they all are right? Am I right? I’m right. But aside from that, my lips are sealed, like a…(you choose the visual metaphor) and as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
2. How does my work differ from other’s of its genre?- Hmmm. It just does. It’s different because there isn’t a ton of young adult sci-fi out there. It’s different because of its plot and its characters and their motivations and the setting and the characters, and it’s a total left fielder for me. I believed (before I busted out this awesome monster) that I could only live and write in the realm of fantasy, because I love it so. But I’m also a huge sci-fi fan and exploring that side of my writing has opened me up to writing all kinds of different things…like my short story Serial Wanda. You member that post don’t you? Member?
3. Why do I write what I do?- Because I grew up watching movies like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Legend, Star Wars…I mean…I just…I love it like I love my own blood. Yes, that sounds strange but think about it…think about your blood and how sad (and dead) you’d be if you didn’t have it anymore. See.
4. How does your writing process work?- It’s not really a process because it’s not a rhythmic thing I do.
In short, I write every day.
In long, my mornings are precious. The Earth is quiet and it gives me a chance to be still and let my creativity do its thang. It’s hard to write on my WIP every day because there are also other things that I have to write: blog posts, Twitter snarkies (insert your own definition…it’s more funner that way), Facebook…all the social media what-nots. But at least four days of the week are devoted to my project and on a good day (three or more cups of coffee) I can knock out 3500-4000 words, on a regular day (one cup), 1500-2000. But, there are those special moments when you HAVE to write. Those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t do anything else but drag yourself to the computer and work. I love those. And on those occasions I have written some of my best content.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

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