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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm on my Way, Home Sweet Home...

I'll be spending some well earned sunshine with my family this Christmas back on Maui. While I'm visiting, I'd like to invite all my family and friends there to celebrate my new book! It's been a couple of years since we've been home, so I'm not familiar with the "in" hang-outs, but a central place in Kahului would be good.

It will be wonderful to see my old home, the beaches I played in, the shops I browsed in (assuming some of them are still around), and the natural beauty of the islands that pictures and websites can not do justice with. Besides relaxing, I will be doing a little work, polishing up on a bit of Hawaiian history. Oh, did I just give away a hint there? ^_^

When I do find a convenient place to get together with everyone, I'll be happy to not only catch up, but answer any questions you have about Circles or writing in general. Because I didn't plan ahead to sell books directly while I'm there, I won't have any books for purchase. But (and I would certainly appreciate it!) you can go to Barnes & Noble and asked for them to order Circles, or order it yourself online through BarnesandNoble.com,  Amazon.com or directly from Createspace.

It actually makes me feel uncomfortable to self-promote, but at the same time I know I can count on my readers to tell me their thoughts. So, in order to give me your thoughts, please read my novel! And to those of you who have already read Circles, please leave your honest review of it on Amazon or B&N. I keep going to those sites hoping for some feedback. >_<

Thank you to all my supporters!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Need to Polish My Marketing Skills

I had my book talk today in Duvall, and four people stopped by to chat with me. I thought that was great considering the only way I "advertised" were through Facebook, my press release on my blog (I missed the deadline to get it in the local papers), and random last-minute mentions to friends and family. The weather was pretty terrible as well, so there wasn't a whole lot of foot traffic to snag coming into the little ice cream shop.

Even though turn out was disappointing, I do know that there is interest in my novel. And the more people who are interested, the more people they will tell and become interested. I would have loved to talk to people about the trials and tribulations of self-publishing, and what inspired me to write this book, but I was grateful for the few that took the time to chat with me one-on-one about writing in general! Because of this, I'm thinking I might do another book talk in the New Year and focus more on the writing part.

For anyone who wanted to stop by but couldn't, or didn't hear about it (sorry, my bad!!), I will be at Country Collections in Duvall on Saturday, December 1, working the store. Please feel free to stop by and say hello, and chat about anything book-related. Your support is always appreciated!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Taking a Breather

So now that I am taking a break from writing (although not so much from Circles itself) I thought I would find a new book to read. As a bookseller myself, I have access to thousands of titles, but I didn't want to wait a week for a book. So I went to Barnes & Noble to get immediate satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the satisfaction was not immediate. After spending an hour just in the Sci-fi/Fantasy section, it occurred to me that I did not know many of these authors. And the authors I did know, I already had the books on the shelf. I found a few that looked promising, then continued to browse the rest of the store for another hour and a half before settling on The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth. It was part of a series, but thankfully this novel did not require prior knowledge.

I don't want to turn this post into a review of this book (I would like to do that later, though) but I do want to say that I thought it was a great read. As I put my now-read novel on my shelf with the multitude of other novels I have read over the years, I found my fingers brushing over the spines of enjoyable stories. I started thinking about why I still kept all of these books, as I would probably not find the time to re-read them. I pulled a few books off the shelf and flipped through each of them, stopping at a page and reading a few paragraphs. I put each of them back and thought about the books I DIDN'T have.

What makes a book so special that you would not want to part with it, instead read it again and again? The short answer would have to be "memorable." When I was in grade school, I had a fairy tale book that, while I cannot remember its title, I remember the feel of its hard cover and the beautiful color illustrations, especially of the poem "Jabberwocky" and a tale about a prince who discovers an ugly woman who is really a beautiful princess and the only way to break her curse is to steal the Phoenix's egg. I don't know  what happened to this book, I'm guessing it turned into a garage sale find or given away, but it is a book I wish I still had because it's illustrations brought the fairy tales to life.

When I could read beyond simple chapter books, I dove into mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but that was short-lived when I discovered Alfred Hitchcock's "Three Investigators." They were three young boys who set out to solve frightful mysteries. It wasn't long until I discovered horror. And one book I wish I still had was a collection of short stories titled Alfred Hitchcock's Supernatural Tales of Terror and Suspense. I just remember a short story about a deserted island and a REALLY huge snail. How's that for a story premise, huh?

High school brought me back to the wonderful world of science fiction and fantasy, and fortunately I still have my favorite books from my D&D days (yes, I was a closet geek) but what I am missing is a science fiction novel, Hyperion by Dan Simmons. It was part of a series called the "Hyperion Cantos" and this first novel told the story from different points of view, all revolving around an unknown creature called a Shrike. There was a lot of political and ecological conflict, but I remember the Shrike the most - something feared, and yet something about it made it seem it shouldn't be feared at all.

Since I know the titles and authors to the latter books, I can hopefully find them again in a used bookstore, or by them again brand new. But it makes me sad that the fairy tale book from my childhood may be lost forever. I have searched bookstores and the internet, but have not yet been able to find it. So, to all present and future readers, when you find a book that grabs you, holds its imagery firmly in your memory, don't let it go. And I hope that my stories will make you feel this way, too!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

MamaManga has "Circles" in stock!

The UPS truck finally showed up today and I now have Circles available for sale! In addition to having the novel available here in Duvall at MamaManga, I will be approaching other booksellers in the area to entice them into selling my book. I've got a long road ahead for marketing, and I hope I don't stumble too much over my learning curve!

Anyway, please support me in my writing endeavors! Circles will be available in eBook format in December, and then I will be starting on a new project. For everyone who reads Circles, please review it (honestly please, don't worry about hurting my feelings) so I can get a sense of what I need to work on for my second project.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My First Press Release


Debut Author Reimagines a Classic to Create Setting for First Novel

Snoqualmie Valley author talks about influences, struggles and triumphs with writing a novel

For Immediate Release
(Duvall, WA – November 5, 2012) For Duvall, Washington resident Jae Holt, making the decision to write a book was only the first step. The second step was to create the characters and build the world they would live in. Ms. Holt’s interests in literary classics helped create a fantasy world in which her first novel, Circles, takes place. Meet her at her book signing on Saturday, November 17, in Duvall, where she will discuss the process of writing and publishing a novel from her perspective.

Ms. Holt’s novel weaves elements of the epic poem, Inferno, to create a dark backdrop for her characters’ story. Set in the Pacific Northwest, university student Caisey Rowan carries on with her quiet life, not knowing she carries a secret that makes her a target for demons. One demon in particular makes Caisey’s capture his top priority, because her life may bring back something he lost.

Jae Holt will hold a book signing to promote her new novel on Saturday, November 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CC’s Espresso, located at 15525 Main Street, Duvall, WA 98019.

Ms. Holt’s debut novel, Circles, is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble Booksellers and MamaManga, a local bookshop in Duvall. The listed price is $9.99. An eBook version of Circles will be forthcoming.

About Jae Holt
Jae Holt was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. She has a B.A. in both English and Communications from the University of Washington. She loves cats and cosplay, a form of character dress-up made popular in Japan. She currently resides in Duvall, Washington.

For more information on Circles, please visit www.jaeholt.blogspot.com or contact MamaManga at 206.963.7031.