I’m On Cosmo!

Cosmopolitan.com, the website, that is (which is still, technically, a magazine, right?).  And it’s only for a week, but it’s still pretty exciting, I think!

If you want to read the steamy excerpt click on this link which will take you to Cosmopolitan and from there, you can read the ongoing story on Wattpad where I still post some of my current WIP (works in progress) to my readers.

Source: So, I’m on Cosmo! – Liz Madrid: Author

Look Who Made It on RT Reviews’ Wattpad Top 5 For July!

 

I woke up this morning to some good news and bad news. The bad news: someone  charged the most awful looking Hugo Boss shoes size 7M to my account which I promptly cancelled as I removed  that darn One-Click option that links your credit cards to your account. 

The good news: my current work-in-progress novel Collateral which I’m serializing on Wattpad live (I write and post as I go) is one of RT Book Reviews Top 5 romance reads for July.  

The bad news? The pressure… eek!

Distracting Myself

  
…and hoping for some inspiration!

So Wattpad is having this contest that’s in partnership with Harlequin and it’s called So You Think You Can Write. In this case it’s the next romance novel.  And the winner will have the chance for a 2-book publishing contract with Harlequin.

It took me some time to think about it, what with forum talk about how Harlequin is the worst there is for writers and something about a 2.6% payday per book sold once everything else is deducted. It’s disappointing to say the least and enough for me to just say, screw it! I’ll just self-pub.

But then it hit me! I’ve already self-pubbed! Now what else haven’t I tried? For one I haven’t even done the legwork to get myself an agent, neither have I shopped my novels around (so busy self-pubbing, that’s why). So what have I got to lose?

So as of yesterday I threw my hat in the ring with a new novel, and now I’m stumped. What do my characters want?

It’s one thing to write because you want to write. It’s one thing to write something that fits some sort of mold and in this case, a romance novel. 

So while I figure out how wealthy families can feud over inheritance and what can one carry as far as something valuable enough to go after, I’m drawing. And coloring. And kinda doing everything but write despite a looming deadline.

AKA getting those creative juices flowing…

Happy Fourth!

Photo by Paul Durano
Photo by Paul Durano

It can be a struggle sometimes taking the little one to things like this, where he claims to love fireworks but the moment the fireworks start, he shuts his eyes and covers his ears and says he wants the “small fireworks.”  And then when the show is all over, and everyone is heading home, he’s screaming and crying that he wants to stay and watch some more.

Some more what?  Sometimes I don’t know anymore, but at least it was nice to get out of the house after constant writing and constant being distracted by the Internet.  At least I’ve got two more chapters to go with the second book of Loving Ashe, predictably called Loving Riley before I consider taking part of Harlequin’s writing contest on Wattpad.

It’s funny how ideas work.  A week ago, I was awash with ideas – so many in fact that it almost seemed that I wasn’t going to finish Loving Riley because I was dying – just dying – to get started with the next book. Then someone tells me about Harlequin’s contest with their 15 categories or so, and – poof! – the ideas and story plots are all GONE.

Just gone.

Go figure.   Although most days, I’ve stopped even trying.

Happy Fourth everyone!  Hope it was a good one!

Redhead

  
I’ve been busy writing lately, fielding unhappy readers’ reactions to my latest chapters.  Some readers cried and many were left upset and for a few hours I had no idea whether it was a good thing or not.

Anyway although I told myself I wasn’t going to draw anyone for awhile, sometimes you just can’t stop art from happening, 

Loving Ashe Reaches 1 Million Reads

Yup, you read right!  My NaNoWriMo novel, Loving Ashe, serialized on Wattpad and will be published in May, reached 1 million reads on Wattpad 2 days ago.  The first chapter was posted on November 1, 2014 and as of April 7, 2015, it reached 1 Million reads.

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You’re probably wondering, “What the hell is a read?” Well, every time someone clicks on a chapter on your story, it’s registered as a “read” though it doesn’t count visits from the same ISP – like one person refreshing the page again and again to increase the read count – unless you’re on a mobile phone and moving, thus the ISP will change wherever you go. So if you’ve got 35 chapters, then that’s 35 “reads” per person.

It’s interesting though – I used to think that 1 million reads was amazing awesome, top of the mountain awesome – but when  you learn that other writers on there have 13, 25, 70  million reads, heck, even 1 billion reads, 1 million doesn’t sound so amazing after all.  But that’s alright.  I’ll take it.

Now, if only those reads translate into revenue so I can quit my day job, then we’re really talking.

Hook, Line and Twitter

Me and contests should really be banned, because somehow I just can’t stop myself from joining.  Well, some of them.

You see, Wattpad_Romance is holding this writing contest called Hook, Line and Twitter and the rules are to write a really good hook for a romance story using under 140 characters.  You’re really using less than 140 characters because you also have to include @wattpad_romance and #loveshot to qualify – yes, I actually thought about that really hard and went, how the hell can I write a hook in under 124 characters?

So of course, what do I do?  I came up with a hook and tweeted it.  It didn’t even matter that I had no idea what to make of the hook to begin with.  But it sounded pretty cool…

That was the first step of the contest.  Now if your tweet gets favorited by @Wattpad_Romance, then you move on to the next step, which is to write your story – romance – with the theme, Those Blue Eyes.  Limit is 4,000 words.

So of course I write  a story to match the hook I had just come up with and now I’ve got a 3900-word short story called Her Soul Place.  Whether I stuck to the theme of Those Blue Eyes is up for huge debate – I didn’t – but it doesn’t matter. I wrote 4K words and that’s not too shabby.  Deadline for the short story to be published on Wattpad is March 10, but the story’s already up.

SOULPLACE_final2

If you’d like to read it, you can click this link or the cover above.  If you’re a Wattpad member, please vote or comment. And if you’re not, what are you waiting for? 🙂  I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Winners get to be included in a collection of winning stories, and I’ve already decided that if I don’t win (I didn’t really stick to the theme of “those blue eyes”, so there’s that), it ends up expanded into a novella, at least.   I’m just so excited to see two new muses come up for me – and I love how they often crop up from prompts and challenges.

 

Argyria (A 200-Word Drabble)

So I’m dipping my toes into science fiction with Wattpad @sciencefiction’s challenge of writing a 200-word drabble (hence, a duoabble) that involves a teen-ager and an alien life form in 200 words, no more, no less.

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Dear Diary,

I made a new friend today.  Her name is Argyria, though I only named her that because her real name was too hard to pronounce it was ridiculous. Oh, and she’s got blue skin, like those people who spent too much time around silver, though I think it’s pretty awesome.  I call her Argy.

And she’s new. Her family arrived that one night the sky lit up and the whole world showed up in our little town to ask if we saw anything (we didn’t).  So when the lights disappeared, they did, too.  Anyway, everything’s back to normal in Nowhere Town. Population: 500.

Argy says, make that 501.

She’s all Goth, too, like me, and she wears the coolest all-black contact lenses that look way too real to be contacts, so not like the ones I wore for Halloween that sent me to the ER.  That’s what I get for buying cheap stuff online, so now I need to know where she buys hers from.

Oh, and she invited me to her house tonight for a welcome party for some Chosen One or something. It sure sounds pretty awesome and I can’t wait to check it out.  Laters.

Read And Fall In Love

You know what makes me ridiculously happy? It’s when readers tweet my story to their followers like this

All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!

A Feel-Good Present, Nothing More

A few days ago, in my excitement for reaching #2 under the Wattpad Chicklit category usually occupied by writers I believe to be younger than me (because, after all, I am NO spring chicken), I posted an announcement stating that fact – my story reaching #2 and thanking everyone who got the story there.  A day or two later, I came across a poem about why such “ratings” should even matter, and that because it didn’t,  this particular writer whom I follow would continue writing as he always did with no regard for votes or ratings.

Whether or not the poem was directed at people like me who dared clutter their timeline with such notifications (the poem’s since been taken it down, I think), it rankled. I felt bad for a story I am working so hard on to reach #2, or for even ranking at all.  I even wrote passive aggressive poetry in response and ended up deleting my whole book of poems from Wattpad because my responses became just that – passive aggressive, and thus taking me away from the actual writing of said book whose rankings on a free writing site apparently annoyed others.

What happened to celebrating the act of being read?

My stories may never get to #1, or get 2 billion reads on Wattpad, nor even sell more than 10 copies on Amazon or Smashwords, even when offered for free, but #2 felt like an accomplishment in that my story actually mattered to some who found themselves rooting for my characters, and who made an effort to continue reading, voting and even a harder to effort to many, leave a comment.

So I will take the risk of cluttering your WP reader view by saying I’m proud that my little NaNoWriMo novel that begun as a short story challenge here on WordPress, now has gotten 100K views in less than 60 days.  It’s no 2 billion reads or 10 real-time sales – and may never even sell a copy once I take the plunge to query it to publishers because well, I am just a self-pubbed author after all with a dream – but it’s 100K that I didn’t have when I started posting the first chapters almost two months ago.  And that to me, is a feel-good present for this holiday season filled with too much angst over whether I’m providing my 5-year old with the perfect Christmas – especially when the tree is not yet up.

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So for this milestone – just 100K reads – I’m celebrating.  And thanking those readers who bothered to give it one read at a time.  Whoever you are, I love you all, in a loving a stranger kind of way.

And to everyone who’ve read this far, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  And to those who don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!