The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Thoughts about Katrina

So many have lost their lives and homes after the events of Katrina. Though we were fortunate and live in a state where we were kept safe from the destructive force, many of our friends have not been so lucky.

One mod on my chat site has lost her home, or is 99% certain she has.

An author I know might have her house under water.

Friends and colleagues have lost family members, friends, place of work, their lives turned upside down by Katrina. And all I can do is light a candle and hope, perhaps find a few dollars to pass on to a fund raiser. I can’t go down there, I lack the money and ability to travel. I’d add to the chaos. I don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars spare to send as relief aid, so I am sat here wondering what I can do to help.

I am going to go through the old clothes I have from the kids and see if any of them are workable for sending down there. Ones that are not well past it. They’d only be passed onto the red cross or thrift store anyway, so perhaps that will help. Even if I can only pass one can of food to a food drive, that would help, and $1 to a money fund.

Think about it.

If we all did that, just $1 and one can of food think of the help we could offer?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Competition on the Terri Pray list

Well I have edits to do for my story with Chippewa which I plan on diving into tonight, after watching the re-run of Rome. I’ve been waiting to see it and missed it on Sunday and Monday night so finally get the chance now. I love historical dramas and movies and this one is promising to be well worth watching.

I’m running a competition over on my readers list to win a pdf copy of Not So Noble Tales. So if you want to stop by and see if you are in with a chance to win a copy you’d be very welcome indeed.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TerriPrayReaders/

The draw will be made on September 15th and the first of many prize draws for the group.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Quick Update

Well Meg’s joined the ranks as an editor for the Under the Moon line which will make life a lot easier for me. She’s someone who enjoys my writing but is quiet happy to go ‘Terri did you really mean this’? Or ‘Terri this would work a little better’. Okay, she’s also quite prepared to bop me upside the head if needed.

Sam’s busy reformatting his HD, he got hit by a nasty little virus that replicated through the system. Fortunately we back up on a regular basis so no real harm done.

Monday brings us closer to Sarah starting school. Can you tell that I am already counting the hours? Not that I don’t love my daughter, I do very much so, but she’s bright, into everything and doesn’t take no for an answer. Erm no idea where she gets that from… alright maybe I do. I’m as bad as she is, for the most part at least. I didn’t get into it quite as badly as she does, my Mum was able to sit down and get me to listen. Sarah just looks at me, smiles and goes merrily on her way. School helps that. She loves school, or did when she went to Head Start which is a wonderfully run program in our part of Minnesota. She’s been asking to go to school again since two days after Head Start finished so you can see what one of the constant questions over the summer break has been.

However in just a few short days she does her first day at Kindergarten, which will be a joy for all of us. If we can only last out those remaining days…

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Minor Celeb now?

My old school is asking for a press pack

One of my old junior school teachers has asked for a press pack so she can tell her new students about me. Now obviously she’ll have to gloss over some of my work, just telling them it is romance instead of erotic romance, but it’s certainly an interesting feeling to know my old school is interested in what is going on. I can’t see them explaining about Terri Pray the erotica writer…

My Aunt Gwen wants a signed copy of Fae Born when it comes out, as she is itching to find out what happens to Rhodan and Riana, though of course Lady Orent steals the show time and again.

There have been some wonderful reactions to the photograph’s from the convention and I need to email the Stormtrooper to let him know his picture is up. I did promise to do that, which is something I can do this evening.

Sam is relaying out the two books and those should be done for Monday which means once Scott has them they can go up on Amazon. We’ve already got orders coming in and this is just the start.

Now am I expecting to become a NY Times best seller doing it this way? Of course not, it would be nice but the odds are stacked against me. However if I get a decent following and increase my sales this way then so much the better. It will take time and it’s a case of taking one small step at a time, getting settled where that step takes me before looking to make the next one. I’ve come a long way already and I’ve only been doing this two years as of October this year. So considering that I have broken records. Well not quite but it certainly feels that way.

Sarah, my daughter, starts Kindergarten on Friday which will make things a lot easier and she’s adapted to me going away very well indeed. I think bringing her small gifts back from the trips also helps. She knows I will come back and that I will have something for her. Never anything expensive, just a small item from wherever I have been. Now heading to Madison next month means I will more than likely pick something up from the city itself. Even if it’s just post cards. She likes pretty pictures.

Jack is still too young to grasp more than Mummy going away without him, though as long as he still has his Dad there it isn’t too bad. Now with Sarah starting school he might be a little more clingy about this, but I am sure things will work out as I can always phone home when away to let them know how I am. Being able to talk to the kids and Sam is a blessing, one thing I can thank cell phones for.

I need to get those press packs laid out and Sam will have to help with those as well as design the new business cards for me. Scott is going to get both printed for me, which helps a great deal. Baby steps.

Onwards and upwards.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Whispered Secrets climbing the sales ranks

The sales numbers for Whispered Secrets, one of the three books I have out with Magic Carpet, are rising. I have to wonder if it’s a knock on effect from Gen Con, or if these sales have come in from reviews or word of mouth. Only time will tell there.

It’s been a long night for some reason with me, so I’ll make this entry a short one. Tomorrow I go back on my writing plan. We’ve got Sam and by default, the rest of the household on a new eating plan to deal with some issues his blood work showed up. He has high cholesterol problems that should be fixable through diet, so we are trying the change in eating plans first.

Sam is also redoing the layouts for Dragon Prince and Not So Noble Tales, which then mean they can go up on Amazon. Just a few minor details that needed smoothing out but he is having a lot of fun getting those details sorted.

Well it’s late and time I crashed for the night I believe. Tomorrow is another day indeed.

Oh, it looks like I will be in Kansas City in November for Shauncon, details to follow once confirmed.

Gen Con Gallery!

First Stage of the Rogues Gallery from Gen Con is up!!

http://terripray.com/site/?D=50

Have fun!

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Orders are coming in!

You know I never thought hearing about book orders would give me such a boost, but right now I am back on my after Gen Con buzz as the first sets of orders have come in. Needless to say I am very pleased about the ones that have come in so far and look forward to hearing about more of them.

My daughter starts Kindergarten next week, and that time cannot come quickly enough for me right now. She’s been driving me nuts since I came back from the convention. Now a part of me understands this, she missed me but I can’t figure out how missing me translates into trying to win the rug rat of the century award. Okay, she’s not been quite that bad. I think just that one week away from them reduced my ability to cope with the constant ‘Mummy, mummy, mummy’ and the ‘I’m hungry’ thirty seconds after she’s finished her breakfast. It’s taking me a little longer than I had thought it would to get back into the swing of being a mother. Strange how that works.

The September trip is a short one, just four days away including traveling time. Maybe only three, will have to wait and see how all of that works out.

Sam is working on the pictures from the convention and those should be up by the end of the day all being well. He’s trying to figure out how he wants to lay everything out, but the one with the Storm Trooper should be up regardless by the end of the day.

I’ve been writing up ideas for covers, and should be able to start working with the artist over the next week or so, all being well.

Well time for me to get back on with work, I have a competition to launch this year, for Fae Born. So it should work out great. Just have to get everything ready for that and I can see that taking place early October.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Recovering

Well we have it, the front cover ad on Contemporal for the Dragon Con edition. It’s a major thing for me, and we are using Jenny’s cover for the world book as the ad. Sam put it together last night, looks really good and I can’t wait to see it in print.

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things, and should be back on track writing wise by the weekend. It takes a little while to get back into things when I come back from a trip.

Now I have to get Fae Born ready and I am working on one for eXtasy books as well which is due to Tina shortly. There’s also the launch of Under the Moon next year, which will be a major print venture for me.

Now I admit that all the trips coming up this year and next year will leave me tired, however it is something I need to do. I’m looking forward to it, as the Gen Con trip opened my eyes to just how much fun this can be.

So that’s where I stand right now, tired, had a lot of fun and I have a lot of plans for the rest of the year. Watch out for some news in the coming weeks over where I will be and when. I’m back in Madison next month for a day, then Fort Wayne IN, then there is World Fantasy in November. So much going on but I am having a lot of fun doing this.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gen Con Report

What can I say about Gen Con that doesn’t start with WOW. First off the hall was huge, I’ve never seen so many stalls in one place. Even dashing around, getting a quick look at things took over an hour so I don’t know how long it took for people to get a real look. It was intimidating at first, very much so, but it became a lot of fun thanks to Scott Palter who helped me get past the initial ‘they aren’t buying’ feeling I was going through.

What I had to do was grasp the understanding that I am a no name and not on their must buy list. Once that was out of the way things became a lot easier. Plus they were running a scavenger hunt in the convention that Final Sword and Ad Astra were taking part in, that brought people to the stall that might not have been there otherwise and was a great sales aid for me. So having a gimmick that brings them to the stall helped a lot. Some, well a lot, were coming to the Ad Astra side of the stall because of Honor Harrington, but then I had the fun of getting them to stop and look at my books. I learned to watch eyes for the glaze effect very closely, some you could see the interest spark into life, others you knew no matter what it wasn’t their thing.

So taking that into account for a new author, no namer, first time at Gen Con, my sales were astounding and I will be going back next year.

I also was able to attend a dinner on Friday night held by an artists group. That I enjoyed a great deal and got to meet a lot of very talented men and women that I might otherwise have missed out on meeting.

It was a very long, tiring few days but at the same time was well worth it. Now would I advise others to try Gen Con, yes, but only if they keep in mind that this is high priced advertising and unless you are a name the odds of you covering the cost of the booth on your own are slim. It’s not cheap. Not by a long shot. However sharing a booth with other authors or companies is a good possibility.

If you plan on doing a convention there are some things to take into account.

Know you Convention. Some are great for book sales, others are not. Check it out from those who have been to that con. Is it primarily a gaming con, if so think twice unless your work is paired up with a game or can be. Origins for instance is not a convention for book sales. Check the web sites, information and double check before you commit to it.

How are you going to pitch the book to them? You have maybe 30 seconds to catch their attention IF they stop at the booth. What do you plan on saying, what are the high and low points of the book, do you have something that you can focus their attention on? It all helps.
Accept that no matter how big you get some people will simply not be interested. It’s nothing personal. It’s not a slight or attack on your work. It’s just not why they are there.

Are there panels? If so are there panels you can slip in on? It’s publicity, promotion and a lot of fun.

Cards and flyers. You need both. Sales will trickle in and make sure your flyers are eye catching and have the details you need. Don’t just throw them together, you need a hook on the flyers.
If you think you are only going to need 100 cards, take 200 with you. I handed out close to 150 cards and 500 flyers at Gen Con and my side of the booth wasn’t getting that much traffic even with the scavenger hunt.

Talk to people, they won’t bite! Go to other tables, have a look around, see how people are doing. Be nice, polite, a breath of fresh air. People will remember you. Swap cards. Yes a lot end up thrown in the bin but even if just a dozen come back to buy at a later date, or search for you on the net later it pays off.

Use a press release announcement service to let people know where you will be, when and doing what as well as having announcements on your lists, website and other places. It’s name recognition and pays off long term.

Make sure you have water, food bars and pain meds at hand. Odds are you will need both and having someone else around to watch the shop for 5 minutes whilst you dash to the restrooms is a must.

Above all have fun. If you don’t it shows.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tired but home

I'm exhausted but home and safe, I'll be able to do a long post for the blogger tomorrow when I am with it enough to type fully. There is so much to write about, and I had a blast there. I'm heading back to Wisconsin next month to then travel to Fort Wayne and another convention. It's all go here!

We'll also get the pictures up on the website in the next two days, you won't believe some of the pictures I got, there is a wonderful one of a Storm Trooper... heh, just wait you'll get a kick out of this one.

More tomorrow.

Terri Pray the exhuasted one still on a Buzz from the convention.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Survived Gen Con!

Well we did it, I survived Gen Con and it was a blast.

There weren’t as many people as there have been in other years or so I was told, but with the cost of gas right now I am not that surprised. However for me it went well. I sold a good amount of books, saw the Honor Harrington game sell out twice over and picked up a few interesting contacts.

Under the Moon is set to launch early next year with six books next year all being well.

I didn’t do the autograph line, though some on DFC will be a little upset because Number 6 from Battlestar Galactica was amongst the guests of honor this year. Ah well, it would have taken time away from the booth and I wasn’t really into doing that. Not this time around at least.

I feel like I learned a lot from attending the convention, though now I am coming down from the signing and selling high I do have the tired shakes. That’s normal as I understand it, it’s like coming down from an adrenaline rush. A good nights sleep should help me with that.

The costumes, damn those were interesting and I have several good shots that will be going up on the rogues gallery when I get home. Sam is sorting out a template there so it will be easier for people to click through the pictures I took. The best one has to be the Storm Trooper with a dragon on his shoulder holding a copy of Dragon Prince. I kid you not, that is one of the shots. I’ll be taking pictures at every convention now we have this neat new camera, the galleries from those conventions should be a wonderful reminder of the con and a great sneak peak for those who could not attend themselves. At least that is the idea.

Oh for a few days whilst I was away Whispered Secrets and Sweet Deceptions both shot up the lists at Barnes and Noble…. And now one of my books is on ebay! Strange how official that makes me feel. I have to wonder if any of the signed copies from this weekend will wind up there sooner or later.

Well I will be traveling back to Wisconsin early tomorrow morning, then back to Minnesota and the long suffering Sam on Tuesday which means unless Sam does an update on the blogger there won’t be any entries for a few days.

Oh, we’ll be running a competition on my email list for signed copies of the new Dragon Prince version, and for Not So Noble Tales. Watch out for details there.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Gen Con Day Two

My ankles do not like me any more!!

But other than that the convention is going well. Plus I got to go to a dinner with a heap load of very talented artists from Epilogue. Wonderful people and I will be looking in on some of their work on Sunday all being well. Obviously with Scott still traveling I won’t have that chance tomorrow but Sunday is looking hopeful for that.

There are so many amazing costumes, and no doubt I will see a lot more tomorrow. I really have to figure out how to use the camera better or I won’t be able to take the pictures I need to take.

I am drained though so this is a very short entry, more tomorrow as the meal meant I didn’t get back to the hotel room until after 11pm.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

First Day at Gen Con

Tired, but I’m having fun here which is half the battle I think. It’s an amazing convention, one I am learning a lot from. Sold some books, but today is the quietest day of the convention so I am hoping to sell a lot more in the coming three days.

Looks like I will be doing 6 books next year for Under the Moon, plus the Erien Books, plus what I do for eXtasy, plus the short stories I do, so it’s going to be a very busy year next year indeed.

I am very lucky to work with editors that have such faith in me, and company owners like Scott Palter. It’s been a whirlwind the last few months but it looks like it’s going to just keep getting busier by the month.

There are some fantastic costumes here, and it’s the slow day, so I’m bound to see a lot more tomorrow. BTW, I need to use that camera and not leave it in my bag instead lol.

I’ve got a dozen short stories going through my head, but once I get back from the convention I need to get Fae Born finished, Touch of Magic and then finish working on the world book.

Sword Sworn, Astaria is the first one that will be going to Under the Moon, needs editing and the rest of the story put into the one file, but should end up about a 90,000 word story by the time it is finished off that way. Then there are two more books I have plotted out for the line which will be fairly easy for me to do.

Four if you count the historical/dark fantasy one…

So much work and I love doing it to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Arrived at Gen Con

Tired but here, tomorrow I will be going to the con tomorrow. Tired, sore but ready and able to cope at Convention tomorrow.

Should be able to write more tomorrow and I will have my note book with me.

So watch out for more tomorrow and the first impressions of the convention that I've been mentally building up to for a few weeks now.
Night all.

Terri Pray the exhausted one.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hi ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to Gen Con I go

In less than an hour I am heading through the front door and off to the grey hound pick up. I’ll be there early, but that’s needed right now. Not sure if I can keep my nerves in check even that long in all honesty. I’m nervous, I have this horrible knot in my stomach, but it’s something I know will pass not long after I get on the bus.

I’m getting to meet a friend from Writing Women, an email list I belong to over on yahoo groups, during my lay over in the Twin Cities. Then whilst I am in Indianapolis I’ll get the chance to see Asaria from Chateau Whisper if all goes according to plan.

Yes I’m nervous, I’m bound to be with everything that will be happening down there. I’m still hoping I will get the chance to update my blogger when I’m away, but if not I will have a huge amount of posts saved on doc to add to the blogger as soon as I get access.

Gen Con here I come!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Nerves

The nerves are setting in, it’s like a bad case of stage fright, but I went through this just before I went to Valley Con last year. Once I got in the car with Scott and Ken I was fine. It will be the same this time around. I’m sure once I start talking with them both in person again I will be a lot calmer and then the confident side of me will come out in full force. After all, it can’t be that hard to face, can it?

I should try and get some writing done as well, the Erien Site needs some updating in the next day before I head out, so that is a must. Also need to dig out the reviews, print them out, get that book updated. I have my music now which helps a great deal it gives me a way to calm down and focus some.

This is something I have spent the last year building up to in one way or another and it’s finally here. I’m finally getting it done.

Just a few more days and I will be heading out.

Okay, what else do I need to do? Tomorrow I get the bag out and start packing it. Get the house straight, make sure Sam has time to mow the lawn and figure out if I have forgotten anything. That way on Monday I can spend most of my time with Sam and the kids. I wonder, should we go for a meal before I head out? A family meal? It might be a good idea to do that. Just something we can all enjoy? Have to run that past Sam. Though he might not want to do that now, he might want to come up and say goodbye at the bus station though. I don’t know. He will need to run that past his Mom. She might be willing to come up early to take me to the station and help keep the kids distracted. Have to ask Sam tonight if he wants to ask his Mom about that.

She might want to come along and wish me luck anyway.

Something to check into.

Damn nerves.

Time for a little Meredith Brooks. Oh that song ‘I’m a Bitch’ Seems so fitting right now, heh. No comment Sam about ‘Goddess on my knees’ please…

New Review for Whispered Secrets

The Romance Studio posted this new review on the 8th of August. I got the email this morning.

Four hearts and a sensuality level! Thank you Romance Studio.

"This is the story of a young modern career woman realizing that there is such a thing as compromise, for the first time in her life. To meet the man that complements her in every possible way; a man who is willing unselfishly to give up what he cares most about just to spend his life with her, opens her eyes to the fact that when ones loves, it can and should be unconditional. It was wonderful to see Kate evolve from an obsessed, tunnel-vision minded girl into the loving, compromise-capable woman that Frank had been hoping to find. A book for every romance fan who enjoys strong alpha characters in their tales. "

For the full review see the link below!




http://www.theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/whisperedsecretspray.htm

Nerves and Chewed Nails

Another day closer to the trip and the nerves are setting in. Sam has been working over time in getting things ready at his end. I really couldn’t do this without him, he’s been learning to lay out books, set out covers, and lots of fun technical things like that. At least I think he’s having fun, it would explain some of those oh so colorful words he uses, I keep having to check what they mean, my poor innocent ears!

We made it in time to get the covers printed, thanks to Scott and Ken working overtime at their end as well as Sam’s work. Team effort, though my nails are very upset with me, they’ve been bitten in places so I need to tidy those poor abused creatures up. I’m not big on manicures or facials, but I think a little time spent pampering myself before heading out would be a good idea. A little effort to calm, clear my head and just refocus.

I keep having this mental image of Lady Orent, my dragon, appearing at Gen Con and looking around for a quick snack. It’s the sort of thing she would do…

I’m getting the chance to meet up with a long time friend of mine from the net, Asaria. She’s someone I’ve known for years on and off but this will be the first time we’ve met in person and if all goes well we’ll do that Sunday evening after the con.

Oh, I was able to sit in on an authors day over on ebooklove for a short while. Bryn Colvin is a fellow author with Magic Carpet Books, eXtasybook and Chippewa. I don’t often get the chance to sit in on elists for authors days of late but Bryn is a lot of fun and being from the UK I did try and stop by a few times. Her writing is excellent, so if you’ve got the chance take a look see. Her print novel, The Shifting Heart, is currently on sale at Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Acceptance

Quick update!

I’m taking part in a discussion over on the Oysters and Chocolate board, on spanking! So stop on by and say hello if you get the zine.

And… Justus Roux has accepted “Wicked Lips” for her November updates. So I will have a poem there in October and then one in November.

So see Wicked Lips by Terri Pray over at www.justusroux.com in November 05

It's the Final Count Down!

Remember that song? Europe wasn’t it? I think I spent the summer of 87 listening to soft rock songs like that whilst I worked at the Southport Fairground. Well right now that song is going through my head. It’s a week til Gen Con, and four days before I get on the bus to travel to Madison. Then off to Indianapolis we go.

Barnes and Noble still has “Focused on Love” listed incorrectly, as Terry Pray instead of Terri Pray. Annoying and but there isn’t much I can do about the situation.

Not So Noble and Dragon Prince are just about ready to go and I treated myself to a new look last night via a box of hair dye. It’s been a while since I did that and to be honest it felt good. I’m now a red head with a lot of spunk, well that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Watching the process of the books being laid out, the covers finished off, it’s been a learning process indeed.

So now I am slowly getting packed, sorting out my clothing, getting my scrap book ready as well. I’m now keeping a journal/scrapbook of trips, events, signings etc. It’s fun to put together and is slowly growing though I only started it a few days ago. I should have done this last year but I wasn’t that confident of making a go of writing back then. Now I am. Thanks to friends and the help I get from Scott Palter I am a lot more confident about where I am going with all of this.

I’m traveling with Scott for the convention and will be meeting him in Madison on the 16th. I believe we book into the hotel in Indianapolis on the 17th so I think we’re staying in Madison until early on the 17th.

I do need to post something to my chatters list this week. I’ve been very quiet there with the build up of work. That needs to change. Even though it is a small list I do want to help build that up and thank people for spending time on the list.

Back to work I go.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Lead up to Gen Con

We’re at count down point for Gen Con. In less than 9 days I will be traveling to Wisconsin to meet up with Scott Palter then travel down to Indianapolis for the convention. I’m nervous, excited and trying to get everything in place before I go.

We’re hoping to get everything sorted in time. It’s going to be a close thing with the printers but we are going to get it done in time and I will have two books to launch at the convention.

Sam is going to be at home with the kids and I’ll try and keep in contact with him as much as I can through the cell phone and computer as my lap top is going with me. I’ve also got a new digital camera with video capabilities so should come back with some decent pictures.

So I’m getting projects wrapped up, working on my contribution for eXtasy’s Sins and Virtues line and generally crossing the t’s dotting the i’s so everything falls into place.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What a way to start August!

Wow, what a way to start a Monday morning.

“Focused on Love” just went on sale this morning at Barnes and Noble, though the web site has my name listed as Terry Pray instead of Terri Pray.

Justus Roux has my “Morning Wake Up” Story live now http://www.justusroux.com/guest_writers1.htm

And “Sunday Morning” just went live at http://www.oystersandchocolate.com/index1.asp

Wooo Hoo.

On top of that Gen Con sees the re-release of Dragon Prince and the launch of “Not So Noble Tales”