Thursday, September 30, 2010


Boy, when I first sat down to complete my very 1st manuscript, I had no idea what I was in for. Much less what came after publishing. Was I up for the task…who knew? I had to learn along the way and sure wish I had a mentor to help me muddle through it all.

Yep, when I finished my first draft I figured, hum, I only have to edit this once and then send it out. BOY WAS I WRONG. Luckily for me I stumbled … yep, literally stumbled on a writer’s website called, lucky for me I did. There I wanted to strut my stuff and show off my newborn baby and decided to put my work in the ‘Share Your Work’ area and boy did they rip me a new backside (but in a nice and supportive way). There on I found the mentors I needed. I started hawking the site and learned that I needed to get my manuscript in great shape. So I took a SciFi Critique class at the BETHESDA WRITER’S CENTER ( thank goodness I did. Lastly, one of the best sites I found support on was for YA writers. These are some things I learned I needed to do after I finished my manuscript. This is completely my journey – you can make your own, but I’d love for you to learn from mine.
- Edit my work – a lot.
- Send it out to beta readers.
- Join a critique group or take a class specific to writing and my chosen genre
- Join a Writer’s Organization (And GET involved – network and meet people)
- Create a Query Letter, edit it, get beta readers for it
- Solicit a Literary Agent – if that doesn’t work, go straight to publishing companies that support your genre
- Network with other authors to see inventive ways that they’ve got published (like getting a writing coach, picking up an agent at writer’s conference pitch sessions, or even interning with a freelance editor or other authors who have beta read your work.)
- Never ever let anyone’s opinion stop you from pursuing your dream.
- Build a platform or presence for yourself as an author (have a fb page, do a blog, tweet – create a following and fan base)
- Be realistic about a career as an author by talking to other authors who are where you want to be.

Getting a Lit agent or a publisher is like the greatest high of a writer’s journey, but then…then…there’s still more work to be done. If you have a Lit Agent more than likely you’ll have to do some edits before your agent shops for a publisher of your works. In a lot of cases you get a publisher, in some cases – you may not and your agent may have the sad job of telling you that there is nothing more than can do for you. If your agent is able to land you a publisher, than the contract negotiations begin and you realize just how little a newbie author truly makes – or in some cases, you hit pay dirt and get a decent advance for your book.

If you, your agent or new publisher have to part ways, then it’s back to the drawing board again. Attend conferences, shop your work using query letters and send to publishers directly or check out other publishing options. But don’t give up.

Now you are published, and if you are with a publisher or not – you do have to promote yourself (hopefully you have already started). This is where should start getting involved, finding cheap ways to get your name out there – HELP your publisher promote your book in any way possible. Why? Because your book is in competition with tons of others and publishers aren’t spending as much $$$ on promotions for new authors, heck not even for some of their midlist authors. You can also use a publicist if you have to, but most of the internet promotional stuff you can do with some hard work and effort. Check out 1001 Ways to Market your book, find things that you can do actively without overly stressing yourself out.

Book signings, radio shows, virtual blog tours and Expos are now some of your stomping ground. Get out there and express yourself, don’t be shy. Come prepared with extra books, a permanent marker and a smile.

Write more books. Even though promotion takes a lot of work, write more great books to keep yourself in front of your audience. Besides, wasn’t writing a great book the catalyst for this bumpy roller coaster ride of being an author in the first place?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FESSING UP-Part of growing up

There are times when you’ve made a great mistake, got caught sneaking out, or got punished for something you knew darn well you shouldn’t have done – and the time to pay the piper is near. Fess up and apologizing is one of the hardest things to do – and truly mean sometimes. We all have to start sometime.


My parents had one rule, “Do not leave the house without telling us.” Well, you know what I did right? I left – just to go to the corner store. I did it a lot, heck, got away with it at least a dozen times before I got…caught. You know while I was doing it, I didn’t think I would get caught. No really, they hardly ever doubted that I would follow the rules. I followed the rules in most everything else. I was a “good” kid that was easily managed – not! But at least I thought I was.


I tell you, when you get caught doing something you know dang well you should be doing – it’s the worst feeling in the world. When I rounded that corner coming from one of my adventures off the safety of my neighborhood, my grandmother was standing on the porch waiting for me. Her hands were on her hips and her frown made it obvious that I was in for it.

I froze, yep I couldn’t take a step. Part of me wanted to run, but I knew she would catch me. I gulped, closed my eyes and slowly walked up the street. My booty of candy and soda firmly held in my hand. Even though I’d gone to the store, left the neighborhood, and didn’t tell my grandmother where I’d gone, there was no way, no – way, I was giving up the goods.


Now I admit I was sorry – really sorry. But, but, but, that didn’t mean I wanted to give up my candy. I couldn’t figure out what I was more sorry about. Was I sorry I got caught, or was I sorry that I broke the rule. Truth was, if I hadn’t gotten caught I would still go to the store without getting permission. Also, the truth was, if given the chance to do it again… I just might run to the store again. That meant, I wasn’t really sorry.

At the end of the day, I apologized. Also, I got punished. The punishment was – no playing outside for a week and no allowance for a month. I thought it was harsh, heck downright mean. But it taught me a lesson. There is a price to pay for breaking the rules, and most times…all times, it’s much higher a price to pay than it would have been to do things the right way.

Did I ever break that rule again? Naw, after that… I just asked. Sometimes being denied doing what I wanted wasn’t always so bad.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Oh yeah! I'm going to be at the Baltimore Book Festival that runs this entire weekend. Tons of books, authors, readings, music, great food and everything that has to do with books.

BUY ONE of my books at the festival, get the other for free!

Here's the Press Release:

Join author LM Preston of THE PACK and EXPLORER X-ALPHA, “Kids that do the impossible Book Signing Event”, Games and Giveaways at Baltimore Book Festival, Sat. 10/26-27 from 3pm-5pm.

Baltimore Book Festival
Maryland Writer's Association Booth


THE PACK (YA, Scifi)

If you're not able to make it, you can get my books from the following. If you purchase one and want the other for free, email the publisher with your receipt and contact information. and click on EMAIL.



I’ve been kicking out manuscripts in four months stints for about 2 years. My goal is 3 months, but something always happens in the writing frenzy to stop my progress. Is it a bad thing? Nope, not at all.


I always try to get a draft outline completed. That way during those times when I’m unable to write, but ideas are floating around in my head, I can add or change my outline. I also carry a notepad and pen with me to write down various ideas about the story that I’d like to add then I stick it up on my writing board with my outline. The last thing I do, is I print out the parts that I’ve completed and read it while at my kids sports practices. I do a sweep edit of plot holes and structure changes in order to remember what I've written and to keep the story fresh and always working in my thoughts.


The overall benefits of ‘active’ stewing time (I call it active because you are either expanding/changing your outline – which is easy and fast to do, or you are doing sweeping edits of previous written text) is that new ideas crop up that you wouldn’t have thought of if you were focused strictly on the outline you originally created. Truth is for me, I change my outline about 10 times throughout the entire process and mostly during the time when I don’t have time to write.


Sometimes I force myself to step away from a Work In Progress in order to flush out new ideas and change plot points. Usually, I am actively working on my craft by beta reading someone else’s stuff, taking a seminar, volunteering in a writing related event, or editing a different manuscript I’ve finished.

Sometimes it’s good to step away from writing, as long as you go back to it :-D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


NYIA our TEEN BOOK REVIEWER is a guest book reviewer today!

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, Book 1)by Jenna Black review by NYIA

Book Synopsis:Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again…


I liked this book by Jenna Black, because it was different. It was about politics and stuff, which you don’t see a lot of books being able to make that interesting. The main character Dana was so cool. Even though she was kidnapped, she was still cool and collected. She wasn’t whiny. I also liked her brother and sister they were Fae, and she could connect with them. It was about Dana being the daughter of a powerful sorcerer and everyone wanted a piece of her. Only thing I didn’t like, was the ending. My only frustration was that the character was kinda stupid in some situations. I give it 4 out of 5.

Monday, September 20, 2010

THE PACK's IN EBOOK just $3.99

I'm sooo happy to announce that THE PACK just released in ebook format and is on sale now for as little as $3.99 a copy!

Yep, you heard me for $3.99 or less on some sites.

Here's where you can download your copy.

Amazon Kindle - THE PACK by LM Preston for $3.99

Barnes & Nobles - THE PACK by LM Preston just $3.99

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Podcast Movie Review of KINGS OF THE EVENING & CIRCLE

Please welcome Movie Diva, Monique in her podcast review of --"Kings of the Evening" and "Circle" which just hit the DVD shelves.

Listen to internet radio with moniquej on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, September 17, 2010


My True Blood addiction has captured my husband and several of my friends. This show is definitely not for teenagers. It’s hot, bloody, risky, sensual, gritty…and so much more. It deals with some taboo topics, werewolves, shape shifters, witches, Christians depicted as zealots, vamps, and demons. Lots and lots of blood. I have to admit though, season two didn’t meet my expectations. Season 3 though, had us biting nails until the next episode. Unfortunately, the last episode ended kinda…just okay, but left enough loose ends for me to definitely want to tune in next season.

Vampire Diaries, is definitely more palatable for the younger upper teen generation. Rarely any brutal violence, lots of intrigue, mystery, light intimate scenes. I’m looking forward to this season also, since there are some cliffhangers from the last season finale. The love triangle here is rather interesting, although the end of the last season seemed unrealistic. Like, c’mon, how can the fake Elaina get past Damon who is also a vampire who can tell the difference between a human and a vamp?

So do you watch these paranormal shows? Are you hooked on the love triangles within them…do you secretly yearn for the ‘bad boy’ in the group?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PROPHECY OF DAYS by Christy Raedeke - Reviewed by Nyia

Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke - Reviewed by Nyia

Please welcome or guest NYIA - TEEN BOOK REVIEWER

Loved it from the very beginning, even the prologue wasn’t boring or too long. It wasn’t a wordy first person book that spent tons of time explaining stuff. The main character, Caity and her friend (a hot boy) helping her had me laughing because they sounded just like me and my friends. She was trying to crack this puzzle that related to the Mayan culture and calendar for the year 2012 to fulfill a prophecy. I couldn’t put it down. She seemed mostly realistic, but there were some parts that just seemed like it was unbelievable in real life. It allowed the story to move along though. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I even liked the cover. It was simple and the colors were soothing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

RESIDENT EVIL - 3D Movie Review

Okay, I went to this movie with low expectations, but what a RUSH…yep, I was keyed up the entire movie. The special effects were awesome (think the Matrix but with Zombies) and the 3D version was so worth seeing. If you just want to go to the movies to see an adrenaline packed movie and you like zombies, this one is so worth the ride. Now, I got to tell you, there were lots (I mean lots) of inconsistencies. They didn’t explain where certain characters came from, their purpose or even how they got out of sticky situations alive. Also *spoiler alert* a certain character loses their special abilities but still survive unrealistic situations – but who cares, the effects and fighting are great! Also, what I didn’t like (this is the zombie lover talking here) is that these zombies just did grab and go. They didn’t sit there on screen and chomp away at their victims. This wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was still an awesome ride. I give it a 3 star rating out of 5.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins - Book Review by Nyia

Please welcome our TEEN BOOK REVIEW, Nyia!

(She stayed up all night reading this and I had to beg with her to get her to review it.)

First off, I loved the series, but this book made me mad. I didn’t want to write a review. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a good book. A good series, but the characters I fell in love with were different from the characters I thought I knew before. They changed so much that I wanted to scream – where is Katniss? This is so not like her? I wasn’t even happy with the ending, but…but, I would have read this book again. The beginning of the book was good, and so was the middle okay, but me and my friends all agree…we did not like the ending. Not one bit. But if you read the rest of this series (which you should, because it’s really good) then you have to read this book or else you’ll stay up at night wondering what happened. I give this book a 4 out 5. I take 1 star off for the ending.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


You know I’m fairly new to blogging books and sorts. I’m going on my first year. During this year I’ve grown as a blogger. I love it. It’s been a way to meet new people, to learn about great books and to find new ways to improve my craft.

However, what I’ve also found is several bloggers that have taken blogging to a different level. Who have in some ways become celebrity bloggers due to great content, the ability to get their little hands on arcs and to give great insight on books and the industry. In addition, I’ve notice that some bloggers don’t like the hater-raid that comes with success or lack there of. I would have never guessed how serious blogging could be until I started this endeavor myself.


I believe that many of the bloggers that get disappointed in their experiences do so because they want more out of blogging than just having someplace to put their thoughts on books, their lives, or things in general. They don’t separate their emotion from the act of blogging and probably share a bit too much of their personal views on the internet. We do have to remember that whatever is written on the internet – good or bad, has the potential to stay there FOREVER…yep, FOREVER, even when deleted.

Oh, some serious bloggers go to the big bloggers events and book events, even hob nob with publishers of all sizes and have taken their blogging about books to a business level. I think like with anything, plan what you want out of your blogging, do it professionally with the knowledge that you are going to have people haggle (why? Because you are on the internet and people that you don’t even know will want to use your site for their own promotion or make nasty comments just because they can) and lastly, do it because you want to.

When it’s not fun anymore, it’s okay to step away. Remember, your time should be spent on the things that you want to build in your life to make you happy.


I love blogging because I did sit down and consider what I wanted out of this before I started, and I’m enjoying it. My kids participate, my friends (old and new) participate and I’m always looking for new ways to improve and share some of my school of hard knocks lessons with others. Lastly, I’m prepared for what comes and everything I’ve written on my blog, I’m proud to say whether it’s on the internet or in front of a room full of people.

*So, how do you like my picture from the movie Home Alone...*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh No! I’m an Ebook lover!

When did it happen? I couldn’t tell you. But within the last year, I’ve purchase more ebooks than I have actual books. Since I write YA, I pondered over the usefulness of my YA book being in ebook format simply because I didn’t believe the younger book buying public would purchase more ebooks than actual paperback. In that summation I’m correct… for now. Although, I believe that within about 5 to 7 years there will be an increase in the older teen group. My teens prefer to have a paperback book, only because I refuse to purchase them an expensive ipad (and you know they’ve asked! LOL!)

I started getting emails from fictionwise and and saw the cheap specials for books. I also hopped over to smashwords which was recommended by a friend and started searching for free books in order to try out new authors.

The reason I started shopping ebooks was simply because I didn’t have time to stop in my local bookstore (which recently closed down). Not only was I able to sample new authors works for free, some of the authors I liked had put their older works out in ebook form for great prices. Before I knew it, I was downloading more than I was going to the bookstore. Lastly, I can read a lot of small novels, short stories and novella’s in during a break.

Even though I purchased a lot of my books in ebook form, I still purchased a good number from the store simply because I love the in-store comforts. Also, I’m more likely to pick up a book I see on the shelf (which I have no idea what the reviews are, and I don’t even think to read the reviews for) mainly because the book and I am in the same place at the same time.


Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!

Friday, September 3, 2010


Okay, I admit it, I’m a picky book buyer. However, if a book outside of my genre or taste is offered by a friend, I will try it out.

Let’s face it -there is pickiness even within the genre you read. For instance, I love horror, but I hate books about devil possessions and haunted houses. My horror has to be gory or I’ll put it down. I love science fiction, but I don’t like hard science fiction, where the author spends more time writing about how their devices are created rather than what the device does…and what about the characters? I want my romance novels to have a chaste virgin of a historical romance fall for a dashing rogue, sorry but it’s just something about that first love that is endearing to me.

Are you the same? Are you picky even down to the type of storyline you love?

Since I’m now on the other side of the book business, a writer and not just a reader I’ve become more open to trying out new stuff. You know what I found out about myself? That I like more genres than I realized. I found that memoirs can be just as exciting as a fiction movie, and chicklit is funny and captivating. Those were genre that I typically stayed away from. Also, that I like romances set in modern day, with some paranormal activity, heck even from the male point of view. My horrors don’t have to be all gore anymore, they can have a lot more suspense to build up to that one gross moment.

A writer has to have thick skin and finding readers to review your work is the start of toughing up that skin and realizing that everyone will not love your story.

When I started seeking out beta readers I’d just ask anyone that seemed remotely interested in beta reading for me to check out my book. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake. When a person tells you that they don’t read your genre and don’t particularly like it…move on. That is the beginning of navigating to readers who like the genre and can or are willing to truly read it with an open mind.

As a writer who seeks out book reviews for my books, I’ve also learned to do my research when seeking out reviewers. If you get someone to review your book that doesn’t like the genre you write, you take the risk of getting a bad review. Now bad reviews aren’t always bad, (hey, I picked up my first Harry Potter series because I read a rant and bad review about the books) but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. When looking for a book reviewer, read their policy and research what they’ve reviewed and the type of review they give for books similar to yours. If they note the bad, the good and the ugly of a book or only the ugly or just rip books apart like Edward Scissorhands. This is a very important step, because it can affect the sales numbers for your book, and your morale.


Since I’ve been writing and beta reading for other authors, I’ve gotten better at trying new things. Also, by putting my old habits in reading aside and trying something new. Reading mysteries was not always me favorite thing to do, but by reading them, I found ways to improve the complexity of my novels while adding intrigue. Be open to new things and when you read something that you normally wouldn’t have read, and you still don’t like it – remember, you may not like it simply because that story wasn’t compatible to you. Take the time to find the good things in it, and pick up yet another book that can broaden your span of taste.

Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Designing a cover is probably one of the most fun parts of being part of the development process with a small press publishing company.

I actually have some say so in the cover design. Ultimately, Frank, the owner of Phenomenal One Press has the final say, but he doesn’t make that decision alone. We actually poll teens throughout the variations of design. Is that an exact science? Not always, but it helps us gage whether someone would pick the book up when it’s smashed in there with tons of others.

Since Bandits takes place on a planet of a million islands, the colors we chose for the background reflected the world built within the novel. We still wanted the colors to be dynamic enough to catch a potential reader’s eye. The catch is, everyone is different.

Some of the samples we sent out to be reviewed, teens wanted brighter colors or more sinister combinations. However, the colors we chose gained the highest number of votes. Not an exact science, but what we found that works.

We decided to show the likeness of the three main characters in BANDITS. Since the characters are diverse in race and gender, we thought it would be cool to put all of them on the cover. Daniel, the main character is captured on the front cover. Faulk and Jade, his cohorts in the search for the stolen treasure, are captured on the back cover.

We found an awesome company with an artist that sketched each character. Stay tuned for a sneak peek of Faulk and Jade.

With the characters, we looked through hundreds of pictures with different poses and characteristics. We captured a few of each character and noted what we liked and didn’t like about them. Then we polled some teens to get their opinion of the attractiveness of each character and the pose.

Once we tallied the responses, the publisher made the final decision and the artist sketched the characters for us.

Covers are the last place you want to go cheap. Typically publishers spend anywhere between $700 to $5000 for a good cover, and that’s what Indie publishers have to compete with when trying to make their product attractive to readers. Let’s face it, if you don’t have a cover that will at least invoke someone to pick it up – then selling the book becomes even more difficult.

SO – what do you think?
What do you think of this sketch of Daniel? Do you want to know why he has that expression on his face? Do you want to know….his story?