"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

The clock is ticking

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve given any kind of updates for my debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS. So here is what’s going on.

  • After going back and forth a few times with the publisher over corrections, the book formatting phase is finally complete.
  • Next week we will begin the cover design.  There’s an air of excitement and anticipation while I wait to see the final product.
  • Finally, a release date for the book has been set. – hold your breath  – drum roll, please!  It’s October 4th, 2018. As I stare at my calendar, I see that it’s not too far away. Butterflies are beginning to stir.

Current tasks while the cover is being designed

While we go through the cover design process I have plenty to keep me busy. Does it ever end? The time frame for the completion of the book cover is around four weeks. During this time I plan on reaching out to other authors, and readers that are willing to review an advanced copy of the book. If this is something you’d be interested in, contact me 

Location of Book launching party & signing

I met with our local library here in Frazier Park and they have agreed to host the book launching party and book signing. A date has yet to be set. I will post updates on this event as they unfold.

Other leads I will be researching are:

  • websites that will be willing to host a cover reveal.
  • websites/blogs that will have me as a guest to talk about the book.
  • Reviews that can be quoted on the cover of the book.
  • Prepare a custom press release to target specific media outlets.
  • Reach out to book clubs to consider reading and discussing my book. Offer to attend the discussion via skype or in person.
  • Seek other book signing events – bookstores, private parties, libraries.
  • Reach out to podcasts for interviews
  • Book a virtual book tour

Sites I am researching for reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Readers Favorite

Book Reader magazine

Trust me the list will get longer but I think I have enough here to see me through the month. Phew! I’m exhausted just looking at the list. And I thought writing the book was hard.

AND let’s not forget, while I continue to promote “Reckless Beginning I am also in the beginning stages of writing book two, “Better Endings.” Currently, I am designating an hour a day to this project.  I need more hours in a day!

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been following me since the day I signed the contract then you know this has been a long journey. Sometimes it has been so frustrating that I just wanted to give up and walk away. But I prevailed and stuck it out during those difficult times and I’m so happy I did. To see an idea that began over fourteen years ago, finally, reach this stage is such an amazing feeling. It has been worth all the headaches, tears of frustration and tears of joy and all the anxieties I have been carrying from the start. There’s still a long way to go and the work will never cease, but overall I’m thrilled that I will be sharing my story with you soon and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS
The synopsis of Reckless Beginnings
Updates for debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS
When a child goes missing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

The Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS by Tina Hogan Grant

What is, Reckless Beginnings about?

With my debut novel moving forward and now in the page formatting stage, the question I get asked the most is: What is the book about? The easiest way to answer that is to post the synopsis of the book. This is what a potential reader will read on the back cover of the book. Another name for it is the Blurb.

The Log Line of Reckless Beginnings

What is a logline? It is a captive phase that outlines the books subject matter and stimulates interest. The logline for my book is the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones.  This I can use when contacting media, possible interviews or to be a blog guest.

Reckless Beginnings is fiction based on true events. What is fiction? What is True? Well, I’m not telling 🙂 Tammy Mellows, the main character in the book, arrives in the States as a young naive seventeen-year-old teenager and makes some terrible decisions. Eventually, unbeknown to her, she becomes the spouse of an addict. The silent and forgotten one.  

The drug Epidemic

the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Drug addiction has been a huge problem not only in the States but worldwide for decades and it continues to spiral out of control with the numbers of deaths related to drug overdoses, increasing every year.

In 2010: 1,842 people died from drug overdoses. By 2014 the numbers had quadrupled to 47,055. That is more deaths than when the AIDS epidemic peaked in 1995.

The Opioid epidemic that haunts us today is believed to be related to the sudden surge in heroin use and related deaths. Perscription drugs are far more expensive than heroin and an addict will seek cheaper methods to feed their addiction. Heroin is a tenth of the cost of opioids, thus the rise in uses and deaths.

Today addiction and deaths related to overdoses are at a record time high. Click here to see the charts.

We Never Hear About the Spouses of Addicts

the Synopsis of RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Every news station, newspaper, and magazine run stories on the rising drug and opioid epidemic. Reporting how many lives have been lost due to drugs. They tell us the demand for rehab and safe houses are at an all-time record high and all numbers are continuing to spiral out of control. BUT what we don’t hear about are the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones. Shadowed by the addict, silenced with fear, the spouse struggles to retain their identity or have any kind of life of their own.  Welcome to the life of my main character, Tammy Mellows. A woman that came to the States with high hopes only to have her life thrown into turmoil.

Have I Inspired you?

I hope I have inspired you to read the book. A publication date has not yet been set. I’m estimating around four months. In the meantime, if you sign up for the newsletter, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of the first signed copies. Enter here. and read the advantages of subscribing.

Further reading about the drug academic in the United.States.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/05/upshot/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/29/us-heroin-use-has-increased-almost-fivefold-in-a-decade-study-shows

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"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day – Know the Facts

When a sibling goes missing

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my debut novel Reckless Beginnings, the main character, Tammy Mellows is devastated when her older sister, Donna runs away and couldn’t be found. With no leads and nothing to go on, three years later, she’s still missing. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read the book to see what happened to Donna. But I do want to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day which is on May 25th and organized by OJJDP – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

When did National Missing Children’s Day Begin?

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In 1983 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day on the anniversary of Etan Patz’s disappearance. Etan was six years old when he was abducted and was the first child to be profiled with a photo on a milk carton.

Each year the U.S Department of Justice, through OJJDP recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have recovered missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The department recognizes the awareness each May at the annual Missing Children’s Ceremony in Washington D.C.

The flower, Forget-me-not is the recognized emblem for this day.

Facts about missing children

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my book, Tammy Mellow’s sister Donna was a juvenile when she ran away. According to the FBI  National crime Infomation Center, (NCIC) – as of December 31st, 2017 there are 88,089 active missing person’s records. 32,121 of those are juveniles under the age of eighteen.

Statistics show many of these are runaways or abducted by family members, due to family disputes and custody battles.

Common law jurisdiction – A missing person can be declared dead in absentia or legally dead after seven years. The time frame can be reduced in major battles or massive disasters. Such as the attacks on 9/11.

In 1982 Jonny Gosh was reported missing to the West Des Moines Police Department by his parents, while he was delivering newspapers. At the time there was a customary three-day waiting period before police responded to a missing persons’ report. Gosh was never found, but his case prompted new laws, resulting in missing person’s reports involving minors are given immediate attention.

Kristen Smart – A student at California Polytechnic State University, disappeared after leaving a late night party on May 25th, 1996 during Memorial Day Weekend. Campus police were unsure if she left on vacation and did not treat her disappearance as a potential crime. She was never found. The delayed response resulted in the passing of the Kristen Smart Campus Act two years later.

Amber Alert – America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. A child abduction alert system that originated in 1996. It was named after Amber Hagemania, a nine-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. The system has saved over eight hundred children in America.

Using today’s technology to find missing juveniles

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

In my book, Donna ran away during the late seventies. A time when there were no cell phones or internet. If she’d had a cell phone, it could have been traced. A photo of her could have been splashed all over social media. Connections could have been made. More people would have been involved and the response would have been quicker.

Technology has aided in bringing many abducted and runaway children home to their families.

The Flip-side of Technology

Unforchantly, with the rise and popularity of social media, a world of risks and danger exists for young teens. A high number of runaways and abduction cases are because of social media interactions. Everyday juveniles are lured into meeting strangers they’ve met online.

If your child is active online, strict rules need to be enforced. Most importantly, talk to your child. Discuss the dangers and the signs to look for. Be involved with your child’s accounts. Check their friend’s lists. If they experience anything that seems suspicious, let them know its okay to talk to you about it and as a parent, make sure you follow up and report it.

Remember those still lost

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

On May 25th  – National Missing Children’s Day I will be lighting a candle next to a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots, for all the children that are still missing and hope they will be returned to the families safe from harm. I hope you will do the same.

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Editing the book is finished. Moving onto the next stage

 

 

 

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

You’ve Edited Your Book – What’s Next?

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after the editing of a book is complete?

I never thought I’d see the day where I could finally say – I’ve finished editing my book. Oh, what a joyous feeling it is. Halleluja! I began editing my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings” in August 2017. It’s been a grueling eight months. Hours have been spent checking every word, sentences, and paragraphs. Rewrites have been done, paragraphs have been shifted or removed completely. Once I had done everything I could possibly do, I handed it over to my editor to complete the task and return it to me polished and squeaky clean. She didn’t fail me.

The Final Read

What comes next after editing your book

After ten days with my editor, the manuscript was now back in my hands. I needed to do one more final read before returning it to my publisher.

After weeks of rain, snow, and winds where I’ve been cooped up indoors, we finally had a weekend of glorious weather with temperatures in the seventies. I took advantage of the perfect conditions by setting up the office outside on the grass to do my final reading.

With laptop in hand, plenty of bottled water, a fresh pot of hot tea, I dug my bare toes into the cool soft grass and began the process while admiring the wonderful view of Frazier Mountain. (I love my office:) )

Six hours later, I read the last line and smiled. With very little changes, I’m thrilled how the book has turned out and hope my readers will feel the same. What started out as an idea in my head over twenty years ago is now a novel, that I created. At that moment, I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself, if I must say.

What’s Next?
What comes next after editing your book

With the editing stage behind me. (Oh, how I love to say that.) It’s time to move onto the next stage, which is page formatting. Satisfied with the manuscript, I emailed it back to the publisher to begin the process.

What is page formatting? This is where my publisher will transfer the manuscript into the format of a book. Margins will be added, font size and style will be decided. Pages will be numbered and the style of the chapter headings will be chosen.

For me this is exciting! The next time I see my book, it will look much different. The publisher told me that the process will take about five weeks. At that time I will need to go through it, making sure nothing got deleted or switched around. I’m estimating the task will take a few weeks.

Final Thoughts

This has been such a learning experience. My father was an author but I never saw this side of the process. There were many times I wanted to quit and just walk away. Unable to find the right words, burned out with editing, having no motivation and fearing criticism. Tears have been shed, many late nights have been spent with explosions of frustrations. I have put my heart and soul into this book and  I’m so happy I didn’t give up. Even though we still have quite a ways to go before I actually get to hold my book in my hands, I’m beginning to feel the rewards. I’m not expecting to be the next Nora Roberts. I had a story to tell and I actually sat down and wrote it and to see someone reading my book, well that feeling will be priceless.

Never give up on your dreams, keep pushing through the obstacles that may come your way and tell yourself you can do this. What have you done that you’re proud of? Was there a time where you almost gave up? I would love to hear about it.

Other Authors that have achieved their goals and I’ve interviewed

What comes next after editing your book

 

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after editing your book

What comes next after editing your book

Additional Reading

Click to buy from Amazon
Click to buy from Amazon
"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Tammy Mellows is the main character in my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings.” Due to be launched this summer. At the young age of seventeen, she leaves her own country, England to move to the United States. Leaving the securities of her home, job, family, friends, and neighbors behind. Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?

While writing the story, I asked myself, why does someone move to another country? What’s so important to them, that they’re willing to leave so much behind?  If you’re wondering why Tammy did? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

The book is fiction based on actual events. Tammy Mellow’s character is based on me and yes I left England to move to America. But again you will have to read the book to find out why. 🙂

What motivates a person to make such a big move

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Moving to a new country is a life-changing event. You have to be one hundred percent sure you’re making the right decision. Some of the most common reason for someone wanting to move are:

  • Job/school related
  • Joining a family/loved one
  • Cost of living
  • Better climate
  • Retirement
  • Sparked by a vacation

For those moving abroad because of a new job or attending a school, college or university, it’s probably safe to say, they’d never visited the new country before. But With the offer of a good education or a better paying job, many will sacrifice and take the plunge. Hoping they will like the country they are about to call home.

In many cases, some may have visited their new destination prior and for some reason or another fell in love with it and a desire to move was ignited. Did Tammy Mellows Visit the States before she left England? Was she trying to better her life?  Again, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

Moving to another country is no easy task

Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another Country?

Once the decision has been made, that you’re going to take the giant leap and immigrate to a new country, it’s time to start planning for the move. You’ll want to organize the transition so everything goes smoothly. Start planning early and make an extensive list so nothing is forgotten and there are no loose ends. Sometimes a move as large as this can take up to a year to plan in advance.  My character Tammy Mellows had just one week. Why only one week? You know the answer – read the book 🙂

What might be on your list will depend on your current living situations and the reason for the move but here are some things you should be considering:

  • Secure all important documents – Passports, birth certificate, insurance policies, tickets and visa/work permit if needed
  • Will you have health insurance in the new country?
  • Your home – If you own, will you be selling. renting or leaving vacant? What about the utilities?
  • Bank accounts – Will they need to be closed?
  • Vehicles – Are you going to sell them or have them shipped to your new destination. Consider the cost of shipping a car and buying a new/used one.
  • Pets – What are the laws for bringing animals into the country?
  • Furniture – Keep or sell?
  • If you have children – what are your plans for their education?
  • Income – How will you earn a living? Retirement? A secured job? What is the job market like in your field?
  • Once you arrive, where will you be living?
  • Make time to say goodbye to families and friends.

Was Tammy able to accomplish everything on her list? in just one week. Aah,  you’ll just have to read the book. 🙂

Dealing with the emotions of moving

No matter how much you prepare for the transition to a foreign country, you can expect to experience a turmoil of emotions throughout the whole ordeal. From the stress of having everything in order to anxieties and doubts as the departing date becomes closer. You’ll probably be wondering if you’re making the right decision and at times fearful of leaving your home and loved ones behind. You’ll be flooded with memories you want to cherish and take with you as you share your last night with those close to you. How did Tammy spend her last night in England? Was she surrounded by loved ones? You know what I’m going to say – Read the book 🙂

It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when moving so far away, not knowing when you’ll see friends and family again. Thanks to today’s technology and social media, we’re able to shorten the distance through video chat and texting. Unforchantly the internet wasn’t around when Tammy left 🙁 How did she handle it? If you want to know, I suggest you read the book. 🙂

Suggested reading

Are you like Tammy Mellows - did you move to another country
Click to buy from Amazon

 

Are you like Tammy Mellows - did you move to another country
Click to buy from Amazon

What about you?

I would love to know if any of my readers made the brave move to another country. Why did you move and are you happy you did?

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"Reckless Beginnings" Journey, A day in my Life

Drowning in editing – A much needed break – dealing with editing blues

Drowning in editing - A much-needed break - dealing with editing blues

My life for the past three months

If you’ve been following my blog, you’re probably aware that I received my book “Reckless Beginning” back from the editor in September. We are now in December and I honestly can’t believe I’ve been working diligently on my edits for three months. After my normal eight-hour day job, I’ve been spending the rest of my days going through the manuscript in dept. Continue reading “Drowning in editing – A much needed break – dealing with editing blues”

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

Tips for holding a successful book launching party

Tips for holding a successful book launching party

 

Why hold a book launching party?

Now that my book is completed and is currently in the editing stages, this is a question that comes to mind frequently and I’m sure other authors ask the same question. So I will give you some answers on why you should have such a party. Below I have added some Tips for holding a successful book launching party without stress. Continue reading “Tips for holding a successful book launching party”

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

What I am doing to promote my book. Tips for other writers

Tips for other writers

 

what I am doing to promote my book

My current tasks

While I wait for the launch of my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings” my current task is to promote it, gain awareness, build a following and have a platform. Let me tell you, writing the book was the easy part. Phew, this part is exhausting. I plan on sharing with you what I am doing to promote my book, what I have achieved so far and my future tasks for promotion.  Continue reading “What I am doing to promote my book. Tips for other writers”

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

The Journey begins

Tina Hogan Grant Author book Reckless Beginnings
Tina Hogan Grant Author book Reckless Beginnings

The journey begins

My new title is Tina Hogan Grant Author book Reckless Beginnings. Yesterday I signed and mailed my contract to my publisher to begin the process of publishing my first novel “Reckless Beginnings.” Prior to this event I have been feeling elated and super excited. I received the phone call last week that my novel had been accepted for publication. Wow! They receive over 8000 manuscripts  a month and only publish 100. I felt honored and proud of my accomplishments.

I spent a week going through the contract, asking hundreds of questions, re-reading the contract, discussing it with friends and family, re-reading the contract yet again, until I finally signed it yesterday. All of a sudden in a matter of seconds, after seeing my signature at the bottom of that contract, it became real. My book is going to be published 

Since I began writing this book seven years ago I have visioned this moment so many times. The day I sign the contract.  It’s nothing like I had imagined.  I wasn’t expecting to feel so nervous and have such anxieties. It’s the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure. Have I lived up to the readers expectations ? What kind of reviews and feedback will I receive? These insecure feelings I am experiencing since signing the contract have me puzzled. I feel as if my confidence level has dropped a few points. I’m hoping after this finally sinks in and the SHOCK factor finally wears off that I will begin to take this in stride, instead of thinking the worst. I ask other first-time authors: while waiting for your book to be published, did you experience the same anxieties?

My publisher tell me that it will be about ten months before my book will be launched. That gives me enough time to compose myself, enjoy this fantastic moment in my life and enjoy the ride.

I will keep you posted on the events of the publishing of my book as they unfold.

 

About the Author