Alabama Book Festival Part 1

A 4-hour road trip.

A beautiful riverfront.

A bunch of books in the trunk.

Join me in Part 1 of our trip to the Alabama Book Festival this year, including a lovely trip on the Harriott II Riverboat! This was such a fantastic trip and I met so many amazing people. Montgomery is a beautiful city and I already miss it!

Festival Kick-Offs

I think one of the awesome things about being a local author and a co-owner of a small business is that you get the chance to be part of the kick-off for some awesome events. Last year we got invited to the 4th of July Family Fun Fest and that was one of the best events we attended last year. I not only got interviewed live on the local radio but I also sold copies to folks who would go on to be some of my biggest fans.

It’s like you get an preview into a place that you know is going to be filled to the brim in a couple of years. That’s how I felt at the First Annual Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival a few weeks back. They only had ten vendors for the event, and we were lucky enough to be part of it!

It was a small event, but since the center is attached to the library, you get to see all the excited kids who walked through. For the first year of it running, I was thrilled to see the turnout that we had!

Hope you enjoy my video (with a lovely cameo with Q)!

A Long Love of Hardback Books

There’s something incredible about seeing your name on a hardback book.

I didn’t think there would be. I thought it would be just as amazing as having my name on a paperback or on an ebook, but it really is completely different. I think it taps into some childish excitement to hold something so strong and sturdy in your hands and to know that the book is filled with your words, your characters, and your story. It’s surprisingly difficult for me to describe it as an author.

It makes me think of being a kid and dragging my fingertips over the hardback covers of my parents’ home library. They are book collectors just like I am, and for as far back as I can remember we had a study in the house which used to be only for bookshelves, books of all shapes and sizes, and encyclopedias (until we got our first computer). Some of the books in there were from when my parents were children, series they just couldn’t bear to part with. When I wasn’t sure what to read next, I liked to browse them and see what I could find. As a kid, I had no worries about how old a story was or how new, how well known the author was or how unknown, all I wanted was a good story. I wanted a book to catch my eye and my interests. I liked the feel of hardback books the most, I liked how the covers had different textures and even smells.

I think that’s why when I first held a hardback copy of my debut novel, Stolen, in my hands, I got a little speechless. I think that’s why I got a little choked up. I never expected it, but moments like that tend to creep up on you, don’t they?

I hope you’ll enjoy watching my unboxing of my hardback copies of Stolen below! They’re now available to purchase at Barnes and Noble.

Scrivener Tutorial #3: Writing and Backups

I’m continuing on with Part 3 of my Scrivener Tutorial series on YouTube. This time I’m focusing on:

  • How to use the Editor
  • Setting wordcount goals for a document
  • Hiding the wordcount tracker
  • Working in full-screen mode
  • Managing snapshots

I originally started this series as a way to help authors get more comfortable with this admittedly complex software. I used to be in the same boat years ago, daunted by the amount of features. Once you get over the hurdle of learning it however it’s very helpful and I wanted to share that.

Now that I have made several of these videos, I realize just how many of these features I use on a regular basis. Not just once in a while either, I mean with every single manuscript I pull out at least one of these features each time. I know I still have many features to hit in this series, but I hope this helps someone down the road!

Scrivener Tutorial #2: Manuscript Creation

So this video is later than I wanted it to be. I’m still new with being a Youtuber, and occasionally I run into hiccups.

I was struggling with my videos being blurry after uploading them and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I checked my rendering settings, I rendered again in “Highest Quality” settings which took an hour, and uploaded it again.

Same problem.

So I deleted and uploaded it a third time. By then I was scouring Youtube trying to figure out what was happening. I kept being told to change my Default Upload Settings on Youtube, but it didn’t have any video quality settings, just basic fields like title, description, etc. Then I found a post that explained what was happening.

When Youtube tells you that a video has finished getting processed, it isn’t really done. The first rendition of that video is finished, but all of the resolutions haven’t been uploaded yet. So when I saw that blurry 380p version with all my Scrivener text unable to be read, I freaked out thinking it was a problem on my end. Really I just had a wait a bit longer for Youtube to catch up rendering the rest of my resolutions.

Thankfully this was an easy fix, but I wanted to share it so others didn’t waste a four hours of their Friday night trying to solve it! haha

In Part 2 of my Scrivener Tutorial series, I talk about moving sections, moving books around in a single project, setting project wordcount targets, working with templates, and outlining with the corkboard.
If you want to dig into what makes Scrivener so cool, this is a good place to start!

If you like my videos, please like and subscribe! I post videos every Friday (Youtube willing). 😉