*Vulnerability Alert: Why I put a book out with no fanfare.

Some of you remember last years book launch. It was a fun and grand affair- including a blog tour, reviews set up in advance, giveaways, social media promotion, and an awesome release party. Everything you are supposed to have for a book release.

And don’t get me wrong . . . it was incredible, a dream come true.

BUT, I learned some hard truths about myself over the past year. After struggling for months with sickness and anxiety, I turned inward and went to therapy. It was there I learned my tendency for perfectionism, my need to “over achieve.” My dependence on the rules and “being my best self.” But I finally understood the root of it.

I was terrified of giving off the perception of half-assing something.

Here’s where I get uncomfortably honest. I wanted you and everyone around me to be impressed with my ability to go above and beyond. And please don’t misunderstand. I adored cooking all of the Italian food for the party, hand-making the bath-bombs, bookmarks, and postcards for the gift bags. My problem was that I was over achieving and doing that kind of thing in everything in my life- not just a one time book launch or party.

Brene Brown

I think it took making myself sick with anxiety for months before I began to understand that life is not healthy, or sustainable.

But how was I supposed to turn my life around after 36 years of living this way? I decided to take one step, in one area of my life, and give it a test run.

My next book.

What would it look like to write a book and publish it, simply for the sake of creating and loving it? What would it look like if I published The Lost Door without all the hoopla and promotion and stuff you are supposed to do as an author. What if I just put it out there for the world, and not do it perfectly? What would other authors think? What if it didn’t impress anyone? What if it didn’t sell? Would the world end?

Guess what, it didn’t.

In fact, it was incredibly freeing to let go of the expectations of a book launch. So much pressure is put on the first 24 hours on Amazon, preorders, reviews, etc. It was lovely to not care. Y’all, the book has sold 15 copies. 15. Three or four months ago, that may have depressed me, or worse, it may have crushed my desire to write. But I made the decision I didn’t write this book to sell 1,000 in the first month. I wrote this book because I LOVE to write, it brings me real joy, plus I’m a bit obsessed with this story.

So, the question is, what does life look like going forward? What did this test prove? Will I completely let go of my perfectionism? Probably not. BUT, I will choose where to unleash it more carefully. I will be selective, and over-achieve on the things in life that truly bring me joy. Because truthfully,  I love digging in and throwing everything I have into something, and the satisfaction of a job perfectly done. That is just part of who I am. However, I will no longer strive for perfection in all areas for the sake of the perception of others. And I will be more mindful to filter my motives in projects.

I learned a lot through this. We don’t need to do anything because others say we should. Or even because those who were successful before us told us to. Sometimes we just need permission to do it our own way, in a way that is healthy for us.

So if you’re out there, and you are feeling over-whelmed with life, I give you permission to stop take a breath, and relax. You don’t have to do it perfectly. No one will think less of you, and if they do, then they aren’t worth being in your tribe to begin with. I am honored to be surrounded with friends and family that support my new “half assed while smiling is better than being full assed while curled up in a ball crying” motto.

My guess is that your loved ones will too.

Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of me over the last few months. So many bloggers, authors, reviewers, and friends have given me grace and patience through this process. And thank you guys for listening. I seriously love you all.

Steen

 

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Not all news is good news.

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Hello friends and family. After careful consideration, I have decided to push back the release date of The Lost Door until next year.
Between being sick for the past month and some other personal things I am working through, it has become apparent that I need to put my health and family first, especially during this holiday season. Everything is fine, I just realized I should probably capitalize on the greatest benefit of self publishing: setting my own deadlines!
Although The Lost Door is almost completed, there are a few things I do not want to rush, final edits and formatting topping that list. So I will take my time, allow myself to heal, and make the book it’s best possible version.
As soon as I land on a new release date, y’all will be the first to know. Thank you so much for your support, patience, and understanding these last few months.
I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!

The Lost Door Cover Reveal!

I am SO thrilled to reveal this cover. I wasn’t able to have the same designer as The Door Keeper, but she and I had similar styles. So I was able to capture the feel and vibe of the first cover into the second with some of my own drawings. Then after handing them off to my friend, Brittney Kaefer, she proceeded to work her magic with them. Complete and beautiful and amazing magic.

One of my goals in life is to constantly be growing and evolving as a person and I wanted that to be evident in these books as well. So Brittney and I worked to really capture the essence, characters, and plot of this story in the artwork. Which made me all the more excited about the clues and hints the cover would give you as to the story inside. Everything from the stag, stars, tree roots, and flowers all have relevance. Then Brittany took it to a whole other level with textures, overlays, and all things digital that are way beyond my brain power. So the cover itself is much more intricate, detailed, and evolved from the first, but still matching in whimsy and fantasy elements.

I can’t thank Brittney enough for partnering with me to create a beautiful cover that I am super proud of. Thank you Brittney, for enduring all my emails and texts. You are one talented chick. 🙂

I’m extremely proud of this cover and to share it with you all. Without further ado, I present you: The Lost Door.

 

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The Lost Door Blurb:

You have every right to be scared. But I promise you this, you come from a lineage of some of the strongest and bravest women these world’s have ever seen. You were made to do this; my mother and yours made sure of it.”

It’s been over seven years since Eden learned the truth about where she came from and that her mother was a Door Keeper from another world. Eden’s own daughter, Gabby, is about to turn 18 and learn the story herself, and about the predestined future that lay ahead of her. As fate would have it, the worlds intervene before Eden can tell her daughter the truth, throwing the family into complete and utter chaos. Gabby must find the strength to save her Mom while grappling with unbelievable realizations about herself, her family, and what it all means for her future.

This anticipated sequel to The Door Keeper introduces interesting new characters, opens two new doors into unique and magical worlds, where our heroines must face the harsh elements and mythical creatures long thought extinct. The Lost Door explores the circle of mother/daughter legacy, the unbreakable bond of family, and the sometimes inescapable repetition of the past.

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Let me know what you think of the cover! If you’re interested in being a part of the blog tour, or a part of my promotional team, please let me know. Thanks for all your support and look forward to sharing the continuation of Eden and Gabby’s story with you!

Blog Tour Participates Wanted!

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Hey Friends! Now that the sequel is deep in editing and my cover is almost finished, I’m looking for several bloggers to work with me on the Blog Tour for the release! My original dates of an early December release are still looking good, so as of right now, December 5th is the start date.

If you have a blog, or would just love to read and review the book and help me promote online and on social media, send me an email at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com and I’ll send you all the information and make sure I get you a spot on the tour!

Please share this info with anyone you think would want to be a part of the tour, or any bloggers you know of that enjoy fantasy. 🙂

Here is all of the official information for the book! So exciting!

THE LOST DOOR

 

“You have every right to be scared. But I promise you this, you come from a lineage of some of the strongest and bravest women any of the worlds have ever seen. You were made to do this; my mother and yours made sure of it.”

It’s been over seven years since Eden learned the truth about where she came from and that her mother was a Door Keeper from another world. Eden’s own daughter, Gabby, is about to turn 18 and learn the story herself, and about the predestined future that lay ahead of her. As fate would have it, the worlds intervene before Eden can tell her daughter the truth, throwing the family into complete and utter chaos. Gabby must find the strength to save her Mom while grappling with unbelievable realizations about herself, her family, and what it all means for her future.

This anticipated sequel to The Door Keeper introduces interesting new characters, opens two new doors into unique and magical worlds, where our heroines must face the harsh elements and mythical creatures long thought extinct. The Lost Door explores the circle of mother/daughter legacy, the unbreakable bond of family, and the sometimes inescapable repetition of the past.

Sequel Update.

Hey everyone! Sorry, it’s been a while since my last blog. I had mono for a couple of months and tried my best to rest, allowing my mind and body to heal. But now I’m back at it and ready to continue working on the sequel.

So, here is the update. My manuscript is finished and currently with my new editor! Once she gets her edits back to me, I’ll do some re-writing and send it back to her for a final look over.

My cover art is also with my new graphic designer and she is working on digitizing the cover. So that is also out of my hands for now.

So what am I doing???

I’m working on putting together my marketing plan and promo materials. I’m compiling lists of potential ideas, blog tour options, blogging schedule, etc. So if you are interested in being a part of the blog tour, or promo in any way, please let me know! I will keep you updated on opportunities to help, giveaways, and discounts here, so keep a look out.

As far as a time frame goes, I would LOVE to put the sequel out in December, but I’m still unsure if we can make these dates work. It just depends on editing timing, etc. But, this is the goal!

Tentative dates:

November 1st: Cover Reveal

November 14th: Presale

December 5th: Sequel goes on sale!

December 5th – December 12th: Blog Tour

Thank you guys for all of your support and encouragement! I can’t wait for you to see what is in store for Eden and Gabby.

 

Mother’s Day Contest!

Calling all sons and daughters!

I’m excited to announce a fun and different type of contest I’m running for Mother’s Day.

Do you have an awesome, inspiring, funny, quirky, intelligent, or accomplished Mom?

Does she deserve to have a character in a book inspired by her? Do you think she should be immortalized in the written word forever?

The Door Keeper revolves around a mother/daughter bond and the legacy that surrounds family. So to honor my story and mothers worldwide, I’ve decided to write a new character based on one of your moms.

Anywhere on social media, tell me 5 reasons your mom deserves to be a character in the sequel to The Door Keeper. It can be a normal post, a picture, or a video. Just make sure you tag me to be entered. (Feel free to use the hashtag #doorkeepermom so you can see other entries.) On Sunday, May 14th, I will choose a Mom to become a new character in the next book.

I will also send whoever I chose, a signed copy of The Door Keeper, so they can catch up to their big debut as a fictional character. 🙂

I’m so excited to get to know your mothers over the next 10 days! Enter early and share this post to give other people the opportunity to submit their moms. I plan on sharing some of the entries on my blog, so yours could be featured.

Who knows, if more than one speak to me, I may decide on more than one winner!