Spinner of Secrets {first birthday + giveaway}

This upcoming week is pretty incredibly busy for me.

On May 14th, Spinner of Secrets turns one year old.

On May 17th, I’ve been asked to present to three groups of elementary school students about writing as a career.

On May 19th, I’ll be at the Homeschoolers of Maine Used Curriculum Sale with my books, in the vendor expo hall.

To celebrate my book baby’s birthday, I’m hosting a really big giveaway!

I’m giving away one whole collection of my paperbacks!

I’m ALSO giving away one paperback copy of Spinner of Secrets!

For my international loves — how about an e-book copy of Spinner of Secrets? I can’t pay international shipping this time around, but I don’t want you left out. So I’m adding, open worldwide (so yes, this includes US residents) THREE e-book copies of Spinner of Secrets OR a lovely little prize pack that might… possibly… include an art print file…

… that might look like this.

There are five potential winners for this giveaway!!

Here’s the Rafflecopter Dude:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

-Annie

No Dragons, Please! {updated Kindle edition}

No Dragons, Please! wasn’t originally intended to be published as a Kindle e-book, due to the illustrations and the formatting difficulties they present. I found Amazon has a program for building children’s books for Kindle, so I used that. Basically what it does is lock everything on a page as if it’s an actual book page, which messes up with changing the font size, zooming in and out, and other issues. All my checks on my devices showed that it came out okay – not stellar, but it was readable for me, so I called it good.

When I found out today that it wasn’t working out for some readers, due to the formatting and how it was locked in, I went back and updated it. It now reads like a normal Kindle book, where you can change the font size as needed. The images aren’t 100% centered and I haven’t been able to find out why, but they are still in there and not looking too bad, if I do say so myself.

There aren’t any changes to the content of the book other than the formatting and one illustration that I moved to flow better in the story, so if you were able to read it just fine on your device before, you don’t need to update it. If you had issues, you may want to update the book, and here’s a link to How-To Geek that explains how to do that: How-To Geek: How to Get the Latest Version of Your Kindle Books (Including Ours)

I’m so sorry if this caused any inconvenience to my readers! As an apology/thank you, I’m going to be putting No Dragons, Please! for free on Kindle on January 7th and 8th. Here’s the Amazon link: No Dragons, Please!

As a side note, the internet at my house is out right now, so I have limited access to social media. I’m running a mobile hotspot on my phone to post this blog update. If you feel inclined to share this post, could you do that? Thanks ever so much.

-Annie

2017 {my year in review}

It all started one fateful day in December 2016… 
It was the first holiday season since my great-grandmother Louise had passed away, so a number of us were reminiscing on Facebook, and a cousin shared a story that I, and a number of others, had never heard before. That story stuck in my heart and without necessarily thinking about it I found myself painting. Then I wrote the story out. I asked for a couple beta readers to help polish it up, then published it on my blog. On January 27th I hit publish on my first little Kindle e-book.
I wrote a poem for my local library’s poetry contest and won first place in the adult category with Something. Reading that one out loud at the presentation night was hard; I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it all the way through. It wasn’t nerves this time. It was how deeply the poem affected me personally.
I turned right around and started seriously working on my novella, Spinner of Secrets. Spinner of Secrets had been in progress for almost two years. I had an incredible team of beta readers who helped me get it in shape, then I started a process I would repeat three more times before the end of the year: formatting. I expected to hate formatting. I expected to take forever to get it, and to end up with a bit of a ‘ehh’ job. 
I didn’t. I loved it, and my first proof copy came in the end of April. I had a book. I’d made an actual, real, honest to goodness book. Not gonna lie, there was a lot of crying. And a lot of jumping around and yelling in excitement. And I don’t really remember a lot else.
I had two poems published in an anthology, “What The Sirens Say” and “Ache”. 
I was invited to enter a couple pieces in an anthology to raise mental health awareness, with all proceeds donated to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I wrote two poems for that, and then was able to help out a little with finalizing it. 

Back in January I’d assembled a poetry manuscript for a contest. I didn’t win, but I got bored one afternoon, rearranged it a bit, formatted it, and ordered a proof copy. This little book just might be my personal favorite of all my works this year. I finished it off with a handful of my own sketches, and published it on August 16th.
On September 28th I published The Ocean and I. A short collection of poetry, prose, and photos, it’s a snapshot of my vacation in Friendship, Maine this summer. It started as just a letter to me, from me, but I was encouraged to publish it, and people seem to have liked it.
With only two weeks left before the deadline, I learned about an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for largest anthology. I am one of over 100 authors who contributed. There are several goals we have to reach before the record is broken, but it’s kind of a big deal and I’m excited.

No Dragons, Please! was, like Spinner of Secrets, two years in process. I pulled it from my back files to be re-written and published. Originally written for my youngest brother’s 10th birthday, I had it published professionally in time for his 12th.
Other things of note:
In addition to my cat, rabbit, dog, and houseplants, I have a fish. His name is Thaddeus and he is a Halfmoon Double Tail Male Betta fish. He is fabulous. His tank is next to my computer desk and he likes to sit near me while I work.
I successfully pulled off the 2017 New Releases Showcase, a Facebook event featuring myself and eight other authors who’d released books in 2017.
In terms of mental health, this has been the best year in a long time. All of this work, all of this stretching and pushing and testing limits, and it’s still been the best year I’ve had. I’ve been scared. I’ve been angry. I’ve been stubborn and in the wrong and stupid and a brat. But I’ve been so joyful and excited and eager. I’ve been so happy I screamed and I’ve been so overwhelmed that I cried. It’s been good. 
And my total word count for 2017… as close as I can figure from my tracking…
246,769
At the end of the year, 2017 has been life-changing. Looking back at where I was one year ago today, I can safely say that I never saw this coming. And I can safely say I don’t regret it.

All my love – AnnieLou

Cyber Monday Special!

Cyber Monday is November 27th! Take advantage of my free shipping code and combine it with my holiday shopping code to get some pretty good discounts on my books. Don’t forget to leave a note if you want it personalized! 
They’re available as supplies last, so be sure to act quickly!

Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

No Dragons, Please! {live on Amazon}

Popping in again real quick to say that No Dragons, Please! is now live on Amazon in paperback!

Here’s the link: No Dragons, Please!

This will also be on my website for sale, but — I have limited copies at home and I have two events coming up locally, so it’s not available yet as I need stock for those and am short on money. Buying books directly from me means two things: I get a little more money from the sale, and you can have them autographed however you want. But it also means I have to have the books on hand to sell to you. I’ll try hard to have copies available to order in time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, be on the look out for some special stuff coming in December!

I won’t promise to be back with a blog post before the end of November and the end of NaNoWriMo 2017, but I shall try.

~AnnieLou