Embrace the Lazy Days

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Now when I say Embrace Lazy Days, I mean to do so in moderation. You can’t have lazy days every day and expect to get anything done.  For me, I need to have at least one lazy day a week or even one every couple of days. Sometimes I need more than one day. You may have noticed the lack of Promo Storm posts. There are couple of reasons why I stopped. You all are probably so tired of my excuses, but I still feel the need to explain.

I realized that a lot of the topics I was going to discuss were hard to explain without you having the book. Also publishing, specifically self-publishing, takes a lot of your energy and brain power, more than I expected. Even my power reserves are tapped out. You guys, I am tired! In hindsight, I should have known better. Publishing takes your full attention. I should have made sure every thing was taken care of first before trying to have a Promo Storm every day as well. There has just been so much going on and I really needed a break. Though it’s been tiring, I’ve learned A LOT about the publishing process and now I am definitely prepared for my next book. I also know a better way to format a promo storm if I decide to do it again. Even though I’ve made a lot of mistakes and there have been more than a few gaffes, it’s all taught me what I need to do for the future.

And now we’re back to the title. Embracing the lazy days. There have been times in this process when I’ve gotten overwhelmed and really tired, so I’ve had to take a step back and just embrace the lazy days. Most times you need to push through the laziness or tiredness to get the words on the paper, but other times you really need to rest. If you’re not careful, the tiredness will be apparent in your work and you’ve forced yourself to write something that’s not so good. So, if you’re feeling a little lazy, it’s okay. Take a day off. Just don’t break forever. There’s work to be done.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. I am officially done with my lazy days, but there will probably not be any more posts until we get closer to the release date and party on November 14th. I’m in the midst of planning now and will be sending you updates as we get closer to the date. I hope you all are still excited and ready for this book to come out. I can’t wait! 16 more days!!! :-)

Members of #TeamSteele, I need you!!!

Here’s your chance to help Last Look Back really spread like a wildfire. You’ve shared how excited you are for the release. Now, it’s time you all told the world what you think of Last Look Back.

I can hear what you’re thinking already.

Um, My?

How can we tell the world what we think about Last Look Back if we haven’t read it yet.

Well, let me fix that for you. The first 20 people to fill out the contact form below will receive the ebook of Last Look Back.

What?!?!

freakout

My, I must not have read that right. Are you giving Last Look Back, your debut novel, away for FREE?!?

 

crazy

That’s crazy! Trust me, I’m not that crazy.

There is a price. And what is the price, you may ask.

If you are one of the 20, you will pay…with your opinion.

Tell people what you think. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell that random person on the street you met yesterday. Tell people! Then, you can post a review on Amazon.com, goodreads.com and/or post a Book Review post on your blog if you have one.

Does it have to be a glowing recommendation of the eloquently written Last Look Back by the fantastic Lara Sean?

No, of course not. Just be honest and tell people what you thought of it.

How much do we have to write it?

Since the idea of telling someone about a book is that you have to actually tell someone about the book,  one-word reviews are out. At least write a sentence. (Note: “The book sucked” is a valid one-sentence review. I am okay if you write that if that is your honest opinion, but keep in mind, other readers might want to know why it sucked, so be prepared for questions.)

Can we share the ebook with our friends and get them to write the review?

No, you can not share the document with anyone. I repeat, you CANNOT share the ebook, even if they ask you nicely. Please don’t copy it either. Delete it after you read it, if you feel you’ll get tempted. But, if your friend really wants to review it, send them to me and I will send it to them.

How do we follow-up with you with the review?

Send me a copy of what you write or send me the link to what you write. This way, I can compile the reviews and share them on my social media as well.

So…

Are you intrigued? Are you interested in taking this to the next level? Go ahead. You know you want to do it.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

“Next time gonna use a Nom de Plume”: Why a pen name?

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Major props if you figured it out and knew the title came from Aladdin. Even more props if you knew that Nom de plume meant pen name. There is a debate all over the publishing stratosphere regarding whether or not to use a pen name. I have only read part of the discussion and I can only tell you my reasoning and why I chose to use a pen name instead of my real name. I didn’t want my name famous. That may seem like an oxymoron. Why would I write if I didn’t want my name to be famous, but I have my reasons. I also very much enjoy my privacy. I don’t want my name famous because I don’t want this to be an ego-driven pursuit of fame and popularity. I don’t want to brag and say look what I did. I just want to write. The penname allows me to separate the writer me from myself. Two separate entities. My, the graduate and blogger and Lara Sean, the writer.

Lara Sean is also a simpler version of my name. It is easily recognizable, easy to pronounce and easy spell. I have had so many people butcher the pronunciation and spelling of my name that I don’t want to put myself through this for the publishing of my book. I want something easy and “author- sounding” yet still me. The name Lara Sean has been in my mind for a while. It comes from my middle name but I won’t say in what way (hee hee). I was going to make it a character in another book, but as I started toying with the idea of using a pen name, I realized I already had one in my pocket. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I stand by my decision to use a pen name and now you know why.  I am glad Lara Sean will soon grace the cover of my book.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. Omg OMG OMG!!! The first copy of my book arrived two days ago. I actually have my book in my hands to touch and look at it. It’s surreal. This is actually happening. 28 more days and you can have your copy, too.

P.P.S. Don’t forget pre-ordering is still available to get your copy signed by me and sent to you by November 14th.

Why You’ll LOVE Last Look Back…

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Believe me when I say there is a little bit for everyone in Last Look Back. It seems that I  thought of everyone when I wrote this book and I put in something for everyone in this book. This book is primarily targeted towards woman aged 18-24. The topics of identity and relationship are something every girl has had to deal with. The universality of these topics enable women and men of all ages to be able to relate to it. I think I can safely say that we’ve all been through tough break ups and tragedies or at least those moments that made us want us to cry our eyes out. You’ll root for Vie in her journey wanting to her to succeed as much as you would want a close friend to succeed.You will swoon as she meets her leading men and you might wish you were her for at least a second. She’s a strong role model that is just trying to make it. She’s just like you. Reading Last Look Back, Octavia “Vie” Steele will be your best friend.

Now I know what you’re thinking gentlemen. You think I forgot about you.  I didn’t. There’s something in Last Look Back for you two. There are at least two explosions and A LOT of fight scenes. So, sit back and watch people kick the snot of each other. Also, the language Last Look Back is written isn’t super girly with a lot of like whatevers after every word. You won’t want to groan through the way she describes her world, but will appreciate having the chance to look into her mind. Note: there are fluffy and sentimental gooey girly moments when she is falling in love. You have my permission to skip over these bits. I completely understand.

Trust me when I say there is something for you in this book. And if you can’t find it, you’re not looking hard enough. But I don’t just want you to enjoy one page or another. It is my prayer that every page of this book is a joy for you to behold.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

Let’s Start a Genre Revolution

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Yesterday, I was talking about how Last Look Back should be under a new type of genre and that I should come up with a name for the new genre. Well, I haven’t been able to come up with a name, so maybe you all can help me come up with it. I have been struggling trying to put this book into one set genre. It doesn’t neatly fit into one category because there is a little of everything in it. There is action, there is adventure, there’s romance and mystery. There’s also a real girl living a real life with real problems, she just happens to be a spy, too. I always wonder if every author has had to deal with this conundrum. I wonder if others try to make sure they write neatly into one genre so the book can be easily categorized. I’m not a fit-into-the-mold sort of person as evident in this book because I always seem to break the mold. So, my fellow rule-breakers, please help me out choose a name for this genre. We could be trendsetters and we’ll be changing the world of writing as we know it. Just think of it. How cool would that be? Just think of it. We might even start a revolution, a genre revolution. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

Last Look Back Stats

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*drum roll please*

Today, for your reading pleasure, I will be giving you every stat and fact you ever needed to know about Last Look Back.

Let’s begin:

  1. I started writing Last Look Back on November 4, 2013.
  2. It began as a Nanowrimo project and the story came from a collection of personal experiences at college and an idea I had when I was younger. (Of course you already knew that.)
  3. I finished Last Look Back officially on October 2, 2014. It’s been almost a year. I worked on it off and on over the year and I was finishing my degree, so I could’ve probably finished it in less time if I focused.
  4. Last Look Back is over 300 pages long…
  5. It has 41 chapters and an epilogue…
  6. and it is over 90, 000 words long!
  7. Last Look Back is the longest book I have written in my life.
  8. I can’t really categorize the genre because there is a little bit of everything in this book. The easiest way to explain the genre is to call it Fiction or Adventure/Romance. That still doesn’t quite cover it. Maybe I should come up with an entirely new genre.
  9. I would classify Last Look Back as a Young Adult/New Adult book. I think ages 18 to 24 would identify most with the book, but the experiences throughout the plot are universal so I think people of all ages will find something that they enjoy about this book.
  10. I wish November 14th was here already so we could have the Launch Party and I could finally share Last Look back with you all . I’ll just have to be patient. The day will get here soon enough. 32 more days :-)

From the #1 Rule-Breaker,

My

When Designing a Book Cover…(tips to consider)

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Since “Choose the Cover” is over, I wanted to give you all more insight into what you should consider when your finishing your book and you need to decide on a cover. There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind when you design your book cover.

  • Whether you’re designing the cover yourself or you’re getting someone else to design it for you, you should already be thinking of cover ideas. It’s a good idea to read through your book at least once and take notes on what images would best describe your novel.
  • Ensure that the image you choose is easily recognizable, but gripping as well. You have to look at your image and decide if it is something that people will pick up.
  • If you’re doing a series, make sure it is an image that can be easily transformed to carry through future books.
  • When choosing a design, make sure you know your designer’s limitations and your limitations as a designer (if you’re the designer.) Don’t have a grandiose design in your head that no one will be able to recreate. It’s better to keep simple, yet interesting. Find a balance, so it’s not too complicated or busy and everyone can enjoy it.
  • If you’re going to a designer, have a design in mind before going to a designer. Unless they read the book, you know it better than they do, so don’t make them guess what you want. They can’t read your mind. Only you know what you want. I had an idea of the design I wanted. I wanted the main character looking over her shoulder at the audience and an explosion in the background behind her. The cover I have now is better than I could have imagined because it’s simpler.  She’s looking back and instead of fire the darkish red color resembles that of a fire or blood.
  • Be willing to give your input  and listen to feedback and say so, if you don’t like it. My designer was my older sister. We of course know each other, so our working relationship will be different. That’s not always the case, so be sure to keep it professional or at least pleasant. Be clear in what you want. Don’t be demanding. Or rude. Like I said, they’re artists, not mind readers. If you want something, tell them. If you don’t want it or don’t like it, tell them. If you’re paying them, make sure you like what you’re paying for.

I hope this few tips were helpful. If you have any other tips, feel free to share. Just remember to be patient and appreciative of your designer’s time. Do not take them for granted. Don’t waste anyone’s time and your experience will be a joyful one. I promise.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

And the Winner is…

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Here is the winning image for “Choose the Cover” that will be on the cover of my debut novel, Last Look Back!!! Thank you to everyone who voted and a special thank you to my sister Elayna of thinkinkeddesigns.com.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

OOTD: The “Last Look Back” Way

From the title, you can probably guess what this post is going to be about. You’ve probably got your own expectations and guesses as to what you’ll see here. Put those expectations in your pocket because you’re probably wrong.

I was worried that if I did the ootd (outfit of the day) the traditional way, you all might actually think I know what I’m doing. So, we’re going to do it a little different, I’m going to show you two outfits of the day the Last Look Back way.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Promo Storm posts, you know that “spy” is one side of super-heroine Octavia Steele. In honor of that, the first outfit is a spy inspired ensemble…Jpeg

The completed outfit which consists of…

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a black tank top under a black leather jacket

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a pair of black jeans

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A pair of tennis shoes that are, you guessed it, Black

Why black? Because black is cool looking. Pair this with a cool pair of shades and you’ll have everyone convinced that you’re actually a spy. Actually, they won’t think that, but who doesn’t like to play pretend. I’d keep the makeup simple. Spies are too cool to care about make-up.

The other side of Octavia Steele is a college student. Most of Last Look Back happens the day before her college graduation. So, what does a spy wear to her graduation?

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tan plaid dress. Fun fact: I wore this dress to my college graduation that was, wow over 5 months ago. Let’s take a second and let that sink in. I’ve been out of college for 5 months.Jpeg

a pair of nude pumps and a graduation gown, of course

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Graduations are pretty interesting to dress for because there are so many factors to think about:

Is the graduation outside?

What time of the year is it? Probably spring. Is it a hot spring or a cold spring?

Should I bring a jacket?

Is there a dress code?

If it’s outside, will it be on grass? Heel’s are out then. Heels and grass do not mix.

What if the graduation is inside?

Will it be hot?

Will it be cold? Hopefully, they won’t have the industrial AC on. I should bring a coat because the graduation gown is not a suitable cover.

Make-up? As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about, I have to spend hours on YouTube looking at make-up tutorials to find the perfect look.

Lucky for Vie, her graduation was in a book and she didn’t have to deal with these issues. I hope you’ve enjoyed this unconventional OOTD.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. There are 36 days until Last Look Back. Pre-order is going on right now. Order your copy before November 1st and it will be signed and you’ll get it by the release date, November 14th.

P.P.S.Have you ever been to a fictional character’s birthday party? You can on November 14th for Last Look Back’s Virtual Book Launch party. Click on the link below to go to the page and get more details.
https://plus.google.com/events/ceeoejnagr8o3pf36i8dicqtcc4