Thursday, June 18, 2015

Catch 'em all!

The Hockey Is My Boyfriend trilogy traces the story of Kelly Tanaka, intrepid girl hockey player, as she grows and develops into a confident woman. Part One shows the blossoming of her first love in high school. Part Two is takes place during her university years both on and off the ice. Part Three traces her life after graduation and her eventual happy ending. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Launch Day

After months of rewrites, it's finally here! Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Three is now available on here on Amazon.
Read the book, and then vote on the poll on the right. Because there's nothing like debate among the readers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Relaunch

It's Kelly and Phil. Or K-Phil.

Well, my evil plans are coming to fruition. The relaunch of Hockey Is My Boyfriend is well under way, with new editions of Part One and Part Two uploading onto Amazon as I write this. A new cover for How The Cookie Crumbles is coming as well. And the only tasks remaining are a final read-through of Part Three and then off for some special formatting with the guru of formatting, Jaye Manus.

It's Kelly + Jimmy. Couple name: Jelly.

I also wanted to sing the praises of my cover designer, Murphy Rae. She’s at Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae. I found her ages ago while websurfing, but I didn’t pull the trigger on a redesign until I could see the end of Part Three. I have to confess it was hard to find a cover designer I really liked, since I’m pretty fussy. My day job is in visual arts, so I have strong opinions on what I like.

Imagine you’re a cover designer and your client says she needs three covers. And the girl has to look the same, but the two guys have to look different. Also, she’s half-Asian, athletic, and she can’t be wearing dresses or too much make-up. Um, if you could add a little hint of hockey, that would be good. If I were the designer, I’d be pulling the eject button, but Murphy Rae was extremely professional and came up with covers that I love. She even did surgery on one model so her nose looked more Asian.

Also, did you know if you search for half/Asian/women on stock photo sites, this is what you get:

 What’s really embarrassing is how long it took me to figure that out.

I am still writing the bridge story, but will get it to everyone on the mailing list this week. Meantime, reread Parts One and Two, and get ready for the awesomeness that is Part Three! (She said modestly. Hey, I’m just so excited for you to read it.)

It's Kelly + ?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Great News

Lots of good news! Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Three is finally done. It’s in copy-editing right now and unless there are drastic changes or formatting issues, I am planning to release the book on June 1. There will be no presales so I can get the book to you the soonest—after all, it’s only four months later then I said it would be.

I have been working and reworking this book for the last seven months, no lie. Part Three went through a lot of different iterations, but I believe it’s a lot stronger now and has some interesting structural quirks. I’m really excited to hear your reactions.

I am currently writing the bridge story, so I will send it out in my newsletter next week. And if you’re not like me—completely immersed in the life of Kelly Tanaka—it may be time to reread Parts One and Two. If you’re not on the email list yet, you can sign up right over there -----> 

And I have new covers too. I’ve been working with a fantastic cover designer and I’m redoing all my covers. I now have a marketing mentor, author Zoe York. Her first directive was to get my books looking more like other hockey romances. So I have done that, and I will do a full relaunch of my books on June 1st as well. Party! Confetti! Just in time for the Stanley Cup Finals too.

I want to thank everyone who took a chance on me when my covers were different. I like to think that you are all people who put writing first, which is what I do when I choose books. I think my book sales have been great and I’ve been been in touch so many lovely readers. However, Zoe thinks I can reach a wider audience. And that’s what all authors want, right?

I will reveal all the new covers soon, but here’s a sneak peek!

Yup, full wrap covers. That means real, live books too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Where's that book, Mel?

Not reading my book, since it's only available as an e-book.

Whew, it’s February. How did that happen?

I’ve been working hard on Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Three. I want to wrap this series up strong, so my editing process has been extensive. Apparently my inner critic could hardly wait to be unleashed. However, I decided on a fairly big change in December, which has necessitated a huge re-edit and a ton of rewriting.

The more you write, the better a writer you become. While this may sound like a truism, it has made writing this trilogy a lot harder. I had the entire book written in draft form before I published Book One. However as the series progressed, I became a more critical reader and writer. This has resulted in major restructuring and rewriting of the books. I think the final result is a stronger book and so I’m giving Book Three all the time it deserves.

So apologies to anyone holding their breath and waiting for the final book. You’ve probably passed out by now. There is some good news though—a time jump means that there will be a free mini-story to bridge Books Two and Three. I will write it as soon as this book goes in for final edits.  Make sure you’re on the mailing list to receive it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hockey Is For Girls

Working on Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Part Three, I have been thinking a lot about women’s hockey. Our heroine, Kelly Tanaka, is dealing with the end of her competitive hockey career and what lies for her beyond hockey.

But in the real world, women’s hockey is alive and well. I was able to watch the All Star Game of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League on national television. The game itself wasn’t that great, but what was awe-inspiring was the camaraderie between the women playing on both teams. Although their expenses are covered, they play for no money—only for the chance to play at a high level and build the future of women’s hockey.

And speaking of the future, the crowd at All Star Game was made up mainly of young girls who love hockey. Girls don’t play hockey for the same reason as boys. There may be college opportunities but there is no money. There is no NHL paycheque at the end of the rainbow, or even work in the AHL, ECHL, or Europe. For the very best, there is only the tiny chance to play for the national team. Most girls play just because they love the game.

In today’s Globe and Mail, I read an article about backyard rinks, by the wonderful hockey writer Roy MacGregor. It’s filled with heart-warming reader photos and stories. One in particular moved me. It shows a photo of two young hockey players lit up on a small rink in the darkness, like an Edward Hopper painting. Here is Jan Krahenbil’s story:

“The rink was built this year by my husband for our two children. Our 11-year-old daughter asked for it in particular so she could practise her shooting. She has been out there for hours every day. We live on a busy street in Winnipeg and, since the rink is in the front yard, many cars drive by and honk as they see her skating by herself. One of the pictures was taken at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. On her own, she will wake up and bug her older brother to go out with her. He usually obliges, but when he doesn’t, she’ll be out there on her own that early in the morning. My husband and I argued the day he came home from Canadian Tire with a $400 bill for floodlights and extension cords, but given the amount of time our daughter spends out there, I now agree it was money well spent.”

Playing for the love of the game. It doesn't get any sweeter than that.