The Feels…

I have an exciting announcement… Collide is now available for purchase on Kobo! That means all of you lovely people who have been patiently waiting to purchase Collide on Kobo can do so! (You can also still purchase it on Amazon for Kindle).

I’ve had a few people ask me…is self-publishing worth it? It’s a question that I’ve been pondering myself since I decided to go with self-publishing. I’ve always loved a good book, and writing has always been my dream. But I have a confession…it’s not about the sales. Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s more about getting my work and my name out there, about sharing pieces of myself with others. It’s about engaging my readers by simply loving what I do.

Do I one day hope to have a steady income by writing? Of course! What author doesn’t want that? To pay their bills, save for a vacation, or do whatever all with money earned from their words? Yes. I want that…one day. I know that it will take time, and I’m perfectly content with that. The thing I’m most eager about right now is getting it out there for everyone to read and [hopefully] enjoy.

Self-publishing is a vast world in which I’m still learning how to navigate. I certainly don’t know it all, but I’m eagerly soaking up information like a sponge. I’ve learned a lot for what to do next time around, and yes…there will most definitely be a next time around.

Right now, I’m working on two more works. Damaged Goods follows a whole set of new characters and challenges. I may be setting it aside for now, because of my desire and need to finish Collide Part 2 (which probably won’t be called that, but hey. We’ll see).

So, to summarize…I’m feeling amazing about publishing Collide, excited to publish more, and I’m open to hearing feedback about EVERYTHING and anything concerning my book and self-publishing.

I do have a favor to ask those of you who have read or are reading Collide…could you please review it for me on Goodreads?


 

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An Interview with Harlow Jones

Hi and hello everyone! I thought it would be interesting to do an interview with my protagonist from Collide, Harlow Jones.

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Harlow sits down in the vacant arm chair across the small table of a local coffee shop. She’s drinking a triple triple coffee, and takes a moment to savor the sweet taste as she waits for me to speak.

Me: hello Harlow! How are you today?

Harlow: I’m fine, I guess.

Me: Congratulations on your first novel debute! How does it feel to have people reading your story?

Harlow: *laughing* You mean your story.

Me: I wouldn’t have a story without you! Now, I have some questions for you.

Harlow: yes?

Me: We’ll start off with some easy ones. What do you do for fun? Do you still enjoy recreational drug use?

Harlow: *snorts* I guess you could say I tapered off on that without realizing.

Me: Good good, drugs are bad and all that jazz. So what do you do for fun then?

Harlow: I’m a recluse. The whole “party lifestyle” hasn’t gone so well for me in the past, and frankly…I’m passed the age where that kind of thing appeals to me. I guess I’m a home body.

Me: How do you feel in big social situations?

Harlow: Anxious, but I deal. I don’t, like, hide from it…if that’s what you’re asking.

Me: Now tell us, are you still friends with Jenna? How is she doing?

Harlow: *smiles warmly* Yes, Jenna and I are still friends. We’ve gotten closer after everything. She’s doing alright…still processing everything. I guess we both are.

Me: How does it feel to be called a “strong leading lady”?

Harlow: *shrugs* Cool I guess. I mean, that’s one of the things about literature that always drove me nuts….females that fall for the wrong guy and just get totally absorbed in that.

Me: You feel for the wrong guy in Collide, though.

Harlow: Yes but I knew it was wrong. The problem was in that it felt right. *She pauses to sip her coffee, then looks up at me*. I’d like to think that I didn’t completely abandon who I was and what I was about.

Me: I would have to agree. You had your moments of blindness though.

Harlow: *smiles sadly* Don’t we all?

Me: Indeed. Any word from the Coopers?

Harlow: *Her expression hardens slightly* No, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of them.

Me: What about Iain? Have you heard from him since…everything went down?

Harlow: No, and I don’t expect to. He hasn’t contacted me since…and I guess it wouldn’t really be wise of him to contact me.

Me: How does that make you feel?

She gently touches the silver necklace that rests on her collarbone.

Harlow: It’s complicated, and I wouldn’t want to give anything away for the sequel.

Me: So there is going to be a sequel!

Harlow: Ya…you knew that. *rolls eyes*

Me: I guess we can’t say too much on Iain or the Coopers then?

Harlow: *motions that her lips are sealed on the matter*

Me: Alright…well, how are your mom and Larry doing? Did they ever get passed what happened?

Harlow: *frowns deeply* You’ll have to wait until book 2 to figure that one out.

Me: What about Jenna and Jake?

Harlow: *shakes head, smiling.*

Me: *sighing* You’re not giving me much, are you? Well. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.

Harlow: No problem, thanks for having me.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

You can buy your copy of Collide by clicking here.

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Tripping on Words

I went to the bank yesterday. I’ve naturally been going to the bank often, as most adults do, and the bank tellers have become familiar to me. They are kind to me, they ask me about my weekend plans and seem interested in the happenings of my life. We’re super tight. This is how you know I’m a stay-at-home mom…I’m forming friendships with bank tellers in my mind that I semi-occasionally interact with.
Yesterday, I went to find out what account information I would need to get my Kobo account set up. The bank teller was one of the two I usually get. She always had a warm smile for me and chats with me like I’m an old friend (okay, so she’s just nice to me). She asked who wanted the information, just to make sure I knew who I was giving it to.

“I’m setting up Kobo to sell my book, so when someone buys it they can pay me,” I explained.

She wanted to hear more about my book. I tripped and stumbled over my answer, knowing that several other people were looking at me.

I’m proud of Collide, but the subject matter is a hard one to pitch in a polite explaination to a stranger. “Oh, it’s a New Adult novel about a teenage girl that falls in love with her teacher. But it’s not just about that, it’s about a town coverup and it’s suspenseful. I’m not creepy I swear!”

Well, it was easy enough to write out, I suppose…but it’s harder to find the proper words to explain it when I’m facing the person head on, when they’re looking at me expectantly.

I may or may not have actually said “It’s a book about, um…insert awkward subject matter here…”

Smooth and oh so captivating, am I right? Hook, line, and sinker.

I can’t be the only person, the only writer, who sucks at verbally articulating thoughts…right? I can’t be the only writer who is far from a conversationalist…right? Anybody?

I guess I need to get used to it. I guess I should practice my answer to the “What’s your book about” question in the mirror until I get it right and stop tripping over words.

Or maybe not…maybe that would be enduring. Maybe it’d be more authentic to just allow whatever wants to come out, come out?

Clearly, I’m new to this whole deal. Hopefully I’ll have a little time to practice before the interviews start rolling in.

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It’s Happening

On Saturday night, after receiving my cover and contemplating over whether or not I should wait a few days and organize my release, I decided to jump the gun and just publish it already. My dear friend Liz encouraged me, asking me what I was waiting for…after all, I’ve been posting about this book for nearly 4 months now. Probably longer.

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So, to Amazon and Smashwords I went, eager to hit publish and make it all happen. Amazon likes my computer, Amazon accepted the upload with ease. In no time at all, I had my book published to Amazon. You can now buy it for Kindle, whether you’re in Canada, the USA, or the UK. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the Kindle app for your tablet or phone.

Smashwords gave me trouble. Lots of trouble. My computer kept losing the signal in the middle of the upload. I asked my mother-in-law if I could borrow her laptop, and she said yes.

So, the next day…I went to do just that. I touched her computer, started to upload the book, and it crashed.

Yes. It crashed. That’s the third computer I’ve crashed by simply touching. I am seriously cursed when it comes to computers, so much so that I should probably buy myself a Mac Book. I’ve heard that even couldn’t break one of those.

Luckily, Liz is coming to the rescue! She’s helping me get the whole thing rolling for Smashwords, so Collide will be available soon for Kobo. I hope.

In the meantime, it is on Amazon for Kindle, if that floats your boat. I know some of you have said you don’t have e-readers, and that’s totally cool…I used to use my smart phone and the Kindle app…but if that’s also not your forte, I will be putting it on CreateSpace to publish once I format it for that.

If you’re reading it, or have already read it…please feel free to review it on Goodreads, and if you haven’t already…maybe you could give my Facebook Page a like as well.

I’m so excited to have you guys read it and hear what you think!

 

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Reaching Goals

I did it. I hit my monthly Scentsy PRV goal. I won’t believe that I’m going to Cancun until I close the party and see my incentive trip points fly up to where they need to be, but I did it. I’m breathing a sigh of relief.

I also wrote a book. A goal that I’ve had since I was a kid…I’ve always wanted tp write a book. I’ve tried for years, failing because I allowed distractions or insecurity get in the way…and now I’ve done it.

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I’m feeling nostalgic this morning. It feels absolutely incredible to be reaching goals I’ve set for myself, within my Scentsy business and with my writing.

The last, well….the duration of my adult life so far…I’ve felt like I haven’t really achieved anything. I’ve just…been existing. I’ve had all these dreams, all these plans and while some have happened (marrying my soul mate, starting a family, etc)…others have not, or hadn’t before this year anyway. Career wise…I was barren.

Being a stay-at-home-mom has been incredible and I love it, but I would be blantantly lying if I said I didn’t want a career too. It’s important to me to be independent, to help put food on the table. It’s important for me to make the things I want to happen, happen. I dislike relying on anyone else…even my husband. I would rather us achieve things together, as a team, than have him do all the hard work and supporting. I don’t know it’s so important to me…but it definitely is.

Prior to joining Scentsy, I didn’t have that fulfilling side gig to being a SAHM that brought in a cash flow. I didn’t have a “promotional ladder” to climb. I’d never gotten a promotion, for that matter. This year, I’ve been promoted twice and once at the end of last year.

I believe that achieving success in Scentsy is what helped me realize that I could actually write and publish a book. I could do whatever it is I set my mind to.

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I’m happier than I was this time last year because of it. I still suffer from depression and anxiety, but I’m learning to believe in myself and believe that I am capable.

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I Dream of Cancun

When Scentsy announced their incentive trip as the Cancun Moon Resort…I honestly felt like I just HAD to earn it, especially when they broke down how to earn the incentive points.

It was…actually achievable. If I worked hard, I could actually find myself sitting on a plane headed to Cancun on an all expenses paid trip.

You know, I’ve never been anywhere before, except on a road trip to Disneyland with my family when I was in my early teens. I’ve probably mentioned that before.

It’s no secret that I have a massive travel bug. I knew that one day, come hell or high water, I would go on a vacation somewhere. I would see another country. It didn’t matter to me which country came first, because I wanted to see them all. But after we had the boys…I figured I wouldn’t get a chance to travel for a very long time.

But…thanks to Scentsy and some hard work and dedication on my part…I am so close, and I mean so ridiculously close.

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I’ve been hitting a monthly PRV of 500 consistantly for the last several months almost without really trying. This month, I’m hoping to bypass that.

Luckily for me….Scentsy has a lot of amazing things happening right now. For the month of July only, we have these selections of Bring Back My Bars — scent bars that have been discontinued and brought back for only one month.

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We’re offering a 12 pack of BBMBs for just $54 CAN (or $45 US). You could also get a 6 pack for $30 CAN ($25), or a 3 pack for $17 CAN ($14 US).

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You can mix fragrances to create new recipes, too. Banana Split, Frozen Banana, SPF-50, Dunes Grass, and Apple Pear Crumble are my favourites from this list.

In addition to the BBMB, there’s also a massive online sale going on called Christmas in July. It is, quite literally, Christmas in July with sales of up to 75% off.

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This Fun in the Sun bundle comes with 4 bottles of sunscreen and the tote pictured here. It’s regularly $116 CAN ($90 US) on for $30 CAN ($25 US)!

There are also tons of Halloween themed and Christmas themed warmers on for super cheap.

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These products are only available while supplies last, and they are going FAST.

If you need to stock up on bars, would like to purchase some new warmers, try the Laundry Care line (which is amazing and all I use, seriously), I’m your Scentsy girl! I can sell to anyone in Canada or the USA. Just make sure that you select the proper country (you’ll see a flag by the search bar and if it’s not your country’s flag, just click on it to change it).

I’m also looking to fill some spots on my calendar for Online Facebook Parties. If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact me for more information.

Thank you all so much!

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The Gift of Words

I am not a crafty person, by any means. I couldn’t get on the Pinterest train because I knew I would never be able to recreate all those awesome projects, so it just frustrated me.

What I do have is my words. I’m pretty good (I think) at expressing myself with the written word. It’s easier to get it all out when I see the words in front of my face and I have time to consider the reaction they may or may not get.

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. Matt and I have been married for four years. I really wanted to do something wonderful this year, travel to some quiant bed and breakfast or maybe some stereotypical stay-cation spot like Niagara Falls. But we both kind of really sucked at saving up for that trip, so it isn’t going to happen. I feel bad, but will just make sure that doesn’t happen again..

Anyways, times are tight so my gift to Matt for our anniversary was my words. I wrote him a (handwritten) letter. I won’t go into detail what I put in it, but it was all from my heart.

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I still remember our wedding day. I think…I hope that I will always remember it, even with age. I remember how nervous I was, how it felt like I was walking on a cloud. Everything was hazy.

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I remember the chaos of getting ready, and the laughter and tears my sisters and I shared while we got our hair done and dresses on. I remember driving to the hall where we were to be married, sitting in the front seat of the van my in-laws rented to take guests from the reception to the hotel, just reflecting on how I knew everything was about to change…for the better, of course.

They say that little girls dream of their wedding day for decades, and it’s true…or at least, it was for me. I used to envision myself getting married to some handsome, incredible man in the backyard of the house I grew up in, just like in Father of the Bride. I used to picture how I would look (like a princess, obviously).

I remember thinking about all that heavy stuff about weaving your life with someone elses on the ride over, in that rental van, having strangers honk at me and wave their congratulations. It was surreal.

Although some things had changed about my dream wedding, such as the location, it was far better than anything I ever could have envisioned, even if I wasn’t the most graceful bride, even if I nearly tripped 700 times before I got to the alter, even if my dad had to physically hold me back so I wouldn’t run…and even if I practically jumped at Matt once the infamous “you may kiss the bride” line was said.

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I still wouldn’t change a moment of all that. I wouldn’t make myself more graceful or posed. The raw, authentic, awkwardness of me was perfect…at least, he thought so. He still does.

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The wedding was just the beginning of our story together, the very first page of a new novel. The part 2 to how we met, how we fell in love, how we became three.

We’ve both come so far in the past 4 years, individually and together. I supported him and cheered him on while he rocked college. Now, he’s supporting me and cheering me on while I grow as a business owner and finally chase my dreams of writing (and publishing) novels. He’s been so incredibly understanding of everything along this journey. He’s pushed me to follow my dreams, and always…and I mean always given me whatever my heart desires.

In four years, I’ve also learned that marriage is not easy…it’s not for the weak of heart. It really takes a lot of work. It’s easy to lose sight of each other, and I’ll admit…we have. We’ve fallen on opposite sides of the battle field of life, fighting against each other instead of beside and for each other. We’ve realized our mistakes of course, and always find a way back to one anothers side…but it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve hurt each other in the process of learning how to weather the storms together, but we’ve also forgiven each other. We know that we are both intense and tempramental, and we are finally learning…after four years…how not to press one anothers buttons.

I truly believe that love is a garden, and I’ve applied this knowledge to our marriage and it’s been better for it. We don’t ever ignore our weeds, we try to figure out a way to get them out together.

I know that it won’t always be easy. I know that it’s sometimes downright hard. But I also know that he and I are fighters, we are both stubborn and won’t let go of each other. We are loyal and we are strong enough to get through whatever life throws at us…so long as we are in it together.

I’m not naive enough to believe our relationship could withstand anything, he knows that too. That knowledge is what makes us work so hard to stay true to one another and ourselves, though. Knowing that means we won’t risk what we have. We know we are just as suspetible to the same downfalls as other love stories that came to an end. It could happen to anyone, and it’s all in the steps you take and the decisions you make. It’s all about watering your garden and pulling out the weeds, fueling the spark and always communicating…even when it’s difficult or when it hurts.

I do believe that we have many more years together, a lifetime. If the last four years have shown me anything, it’s that our determination and the ease in which we can keep our spark alive will serve us well. This man still gives me butterflies when he kisses me, he still makes me feel like I did when we first got together.

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