Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Fantasy and Fiction of Success

All authors are frauds.

At least, we think we are. At least, most of us do.

For years, I figured it was just me. I figured all the other authors out there were “real” writers and I was just faking it. They all knew what they were doing. I put them on that pedestal… you know the one—it’s where we keep our writers, artists, musicians, all those people who seem greater than we mere mortals.

Then one day I happened to be chatting with an author friend. And when I say “author friend” I mean “a REAL author who writes REAL books that people actually buy and read and love and OMG I can’t believe she’s wasting her breath on little old me.” I couldn’t believe it when she admitted that she has super-low self-esteem. She’s a popular author! People love her books! And still, she doesn’t believe she has any business up on that pedestal. I put her there, certainly, but she doesn’t think she deserves the honour.

A few months later, I read a blog post written by yet another author—this time not only a big author, a popular author, but a traditionally-published USA Today bestselling author who’d been on book tours and had huge contracts and lived the author life. And what did she say?

She felt like a fraud.

I couldn’t believe this author, this big popular REAL author felt like a fraud! A bestselling author doesn’t think she belongs on the “real author” pedestal? Well, if she doesn’t belong there, who does? Is it reserved for dead guys only? Authors of those classic we’re told we need to read whether we like it or not?

Who gets to be a real author when so very, very, very many of us who earn a living writing books still feel like we’re not good enough?

Authors are complicated beasts. That’s one reason I always said I would never write a book about a writer. It also seems like a cop-out to give your main character your own occupation. But when I came up with the concept for my book “Truth and Other Lies,” I knew my guy Kenny had to be a writer. There was no way around it.

And if most writers FEEL like frauds, I’ll tell you right now that Kenny really IS a fraud. Well, I shouldn’t say that. He is a writer. He’s been self-publishing a sci-fi series for a few years. His work is solid. But the novel that garners attention from hordes of eager readers and an Oprah-level book guru? Yeah, he didn’t write that. His name is on the cover, but those aren’t his words.

Looking back, maybe I wrote “Truth and Other Lies” as kind of a metaphor. Because one of the big reasons I feel like a fraud is that some of my stories don’t seem to come from me—not from my brain, at least. When I wrote “Truth and Other Lies,” it arrived out of nowhere. My fingers typed it, but where did the words come from? Not from me. From somewhere deep inside me… or from somewhere far outside.

Maybe that’s why so many authors feel like frauds. We don’t always know where our books come from. When all goes well, the characters take over. You might have heard they have minds of their own. It’s true. They really do. My characters write my stories for me. I’m just a convenient set of fingers for typing.

Oh, authors! Sometimes it feels like anybody could do what we do. These characters are just floating above our heads, waiting for an idle pair of hands to latch on to so they can tell their stories. No wonder we feel like frauds.

I write books for a living. That’s my career. I’m a writer. The work speaks for itself, so, ultimately, I guess it doesn’t matter whether I feel worthy, or whether I put myself on a pedestal. We authors don’t get to make that judgement. Readers do.

Truth and Other Lies can be purchased from:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LICLQBG?tag=foxglovelee
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-truthandotherlies-1562486-145.html
BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/truth-and-other-lies-mmf

Thursday, 13 August 2015

...but we're not exclusive...

One of the publishers I work with only contracts short stories for a period of one year. Makes sense, actually. Sales of short fiction tends to drop off pretty soon after release. If you ever feel like there's a deluge of short fiction out there, that's probably why.

When my rights came back to me, I figured I'd self-publish those shorts. I only had an account with Amazon at that time, so I only uploaded them to Amazon. For a long while, we were exclusive.

But not anymore!

It no longer seems beneficial to put all my eggs in Amazon's basket, so I've started the slow process of teasing them out and making them available at other retailers.

The stories we're talking about, here, are the ones that comprise my short fiction anthology Rainbow Crush. So if you own Rainbow Crush, you own these stories. And thanks!

If you prefer to pick and choose, buying your shorts as individual ebooks, then I've got good news for you. Actually, I've got links where you can purchase some shorts. I've also got links to short fiction at subscription places like Oyster and Scribd. So if you have accounts there, give my shorts a read! Doesn't cost you anything.

Here are some ebooks that are no longer exclusive to Amazon:

Happy Birthday, Klutzface!

I Know What Gay Is

Dress Like a Dude

Monday, 27 April 2015

Free Ebooks, USA Today Review, Large Print Sylvie & Oh-So-Many Things To Do

Remember that Kids in the Hall sketch, Things To Do? That's kind of how I feel every time I sit down to write a blog post. I go so long between them that I always have seven things to tell you. Or, in this case, three things:

Thing 1:

Truth and Other Lies was reviewed by USA Today!

Here's the link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2015/03/30/michelle-monkou-ya-recs-albertalli-walker-lee-stevenson/70689590/

Wow, do I ever feel like a real-life professional author now!

Thing 2:

Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost is now available as a Large Print book. It's available right now from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5457443 and should be rolling out across Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retail channels very soon.

Hint if you like ebooks: you can now read Sylvie for FREE! Pick up a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo... where else?  Google Play. Go for it.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QJLBFUS
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sylvie-and-the-christmas-ghost-foxglove-lee/1120851731
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id947735485
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sylvie-and-the-christmas-ghost
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/249006634/Sylvie-and-the-Christmas-Ghost
Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/c380355f-ad0b-41be-9ee4-b81896a4b523

Q: What's better than a free ebook?

A: TWO free ebooks!

Thing 3:

Dress Like A Dude
A short story by Foxglove Lee

...will be FREE at Amazon April 28th-May 2nd, 2015...

What's going on in front of the school? 
When Mila and Laura get back from lunch, there's a big student protest going on. Signs and placards say "Guys Shouldn't Wear Girl Clothes" and "Dress Like A Dude." Turns out a new student doesn't believe in gender-conformity. He’s a Goth guy who wears whatever he wants, including skirts. This ninth grader's got guts!
Mila and Laura have been dating since last school year and they haven't even kissed in public. Will this young student who isn't afraid of anyone inspire them to come out, or will other kids' reactions drive them deeper into the closet?
LGBTQ fiction from the author of Tiffany and Tiger’s Eye & Truth and Other Lies!

Foxglove Lee is a former aspiring Broadway Baby who now writes queer fiction for teens and young adults. She tries not to be too theatrical, but her characters often take over. When you’re done with her short story collection Rainbow Crush, grab her novel Tiffany and Tiger’s Eye—it’s set in the 80s and there’s an evil doll! What more could a reader ask for? Follow Foxglove on Twitter @foxglovelee or stay tuned to her blog foxglovelee.blogspot.com for more!

Grab a copy on me, April 28-May 2nd!


...and in case you've never seen that Kids in the Hall sketch I mentioned earlier (caution: comedy violence)...

Friday, 13 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! You're Getting A Free Book!

I promised you a great gift for Valentine's Day, and here it is: for a limited time only, you can grab a copy of Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost absolutely FREE at certain retailers.

Is it weird to give a Christmas ebook as a V-Day gift? Yeah, probably, but oh well. 

Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost was written for younger young adults (the main character is 14), but I write books that keep me entertained as an adult, so I recommend it for all ages. It's set in 1994, so blast from the past if you grew up in the nineties! (Or if you were alive in the nineties!) And if you weren't... we didn't have cell phones then. Well, I didn't. I think they existed, but only hotshots had them. 

Here's me going blah-blah-blah when all you're really interested in is where you can get this fabulous book at this fabulous price. (Although, if you want to hear more of my blah-blah-blah about the book, read my post about it: http://foxglovelee.blogspot.ca/2014/12/what-do-seinfeld-show-boat-and-that-70s.html )

If you just want your free book with no fuss, here's where to go:
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sylvie-and-the-christmas-ghost-foxglove-lee/1120851731
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id947735485
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sylvie-and-the-christmas-ghost

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/c380355f-ad0b-41be-9ee4-b81896a4b523

You can also buy Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost IN PRINT from Createspace, but it's not free (sorry!): https://www.createspace.com/5147425

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Rainbow Crush: Large Print and New Retailers!

Have you been craving Rainbow Crush, but you can't (or don't want to) buy stuff from Amazon? Well, good news! Now you can get my lighthearted LGBT short story collection at a whole bunch of new retailers!

Here are links:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rainbow-crush-foxglove-lee/1120373309?ean=9781502393890

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rainbow-crush-light-hearted-lgbt-fiction-for-teens
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id953285170

Are you a Scribd subscriber? You can read it there too: https://www.scribd.com/book/250499451/Rainbow-Crush-Light-Hearted-LGBT-Fiction-for-Teens

If you are an Amazon shopper, don't worry--Rainbow Crush is still available there.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NPOJA7C?ie&tag=foxglovelee-20
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NPOJA7C

You can also get it in print from CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5002133

Guess what else? If you're a paperback lover and you want or need your books in large print, Rainbow Crush is now available just the way you like it! Grab it right here: https://www.createspace.com/5202466

I'm going to have some great news for Valentine's Day, so stay tuned. (I can't wait to tell you! I want to tell you right now! But I can wait... I can wait... okay, see you later this week.)