Thursday, September 16, 2010

Countdown to Launch

By Merrie Destefano



First, thank you to everyone who participated! I really enjoyed reading all of your comments and getting to know each of you. I hope you stop back! Now, for the winners:

Supernatural Underground:
Daniell: Winner of a signed copy of AFTERLIFE
Natasha17: Winner of a signed copy of AFTERLIFE
BaileytheBookWorm: Winner of a signed copy of HOW TO DRAW ZOMBIES
Donnas15: Winner of a signed copy of HOW TO DRAW VAMPIRES

Winners: Please note that you have 3 days to contact me or the prizes/books will be awarded to another commenter. Just an FYI, I ran everything through a randomizer program to find the winner. You can either leave me your e-mail address in the comments of this blog post or you can drop me an e-mail at: merrie [dot] destefano [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Time is no longer my friend. She constantly betrays me with little things like crow’s feet and widening hips and lowered energy. She teases me with memories of loved ones who live far away, and she laughs when minutes drag into hours as I wait for a special event.

Right now she’s laughing, all right. Sounds like the cackle of a wizened madwoman. This time she’s thrilled because I’ve suddenly realized that there aren’t enough hours in the day.

The launch for my first novel—Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles—swiftly approaches on Sept. 28, followed immediately by the deadline for my second novel rewrites. After that, my month-of-promotional-events begins, some of which are online, some are in person, and some are probably just in my mind.

The mind of a writer can be a terrible thing.

I’ve been forgetting things like what day it is and writer’s group meetings. I almost forgot my husband’s birthday and I’m pretty sure I could forget how to get home from the mall, unless you lured me there with a pint of taro frozen yogurt. In a frantic attempt to keep up with deadlines, I’ve cancelled vet appointments, dentist appointments, and lunches with dear friends. Right now I just remembered that I haven’t gotten back to a friend who wants to interview me for her radio program.

And yet, in the midst of the madness, I’m excited beyond belief.

My first book is coming out in a couple of weeks. And that’s a dream I’ve had for more than 20 years. I stopped a few times along the way, but then got really serious about my publishing dream about 10 years ago. Since then I became the publisher of a national multi-media broadcasting and publishing company, and the editor of a national magazine.

All this without finishing my college degree. [Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone!]

I guess my motto is, don’t give up on your dreams. Ever. Don’t let anyone tell you, “You can’t do it.” Don’t let anyone stand in your way. Work hard, work when you’re exhausted, work when your friends are going to parties (ouch, that one really hurts!), work until you can tell that your dream is just a little bit closer. And then work some more.

I want to thank everyone who helped me achieve my dream, from my agent, Kimberley Cameron, to my editor, Diana Gill, to my husband, Tom. And a big cyber hug to all those awesome book bloggers who have reviewed Afterlife—you guys rock! [You can read snippets of their reviews here.]

My question for you, dear blog readers, is this: Is there a dream you almost gave up on? If so, please share what it was in the comment section. Also, if there was someone who encouraged you along the way, please share their name as well.

To get this party started, and to help celebrate my upcoming book launch, I have a few prizes.

1. I’ll be giving away 2 signed copies of Afterlife.

2. I’ll also give away 1 signed copy of How to Draw Vampires.

3. And I’ll give away 1 signed copy of How to Draw Zombies.

To enter to win, please post a comment below. You can earn points by:

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website
+ 3 Posting a comment on my other blog here.
+5 Linking to my website here.
+ 10 Following my other blog here.

Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment. Winners to be announced in this post Thursday, Sept. 28. Contest ends Wednesday, Sept. 27, at midnight! Please note that if I don’t hear from the winners within 3 days after the contest closes, I will select another winner.


Mysteriousrose said...

congratulations on achieving your dream:-)
I almost gave up on singing I just did not have the courage to sing in front of others but with help from my friends and family I'm now taking lessons, it's still not professionally or anything but I just get to enjoy something I really love.

+1 comment
+1 twitter.
+1 facebook:!/profile.php?id=100000852732699&v=wall&story_fbid=153966961295283
+1 linking to Supernatural Underground on my blog:
+3 posted a comment it just need approval:
+5 linking to your website at my blog:
+10 I'm a follower of your other blog (mysteriousrose)

Total extra entries: 22

Danielle said...

+1 comment
+1 I tweeted:
+1 Posted on FB!/profile.php?id=100001517990296&v=wall&story_fbid=159199450757974
+3 Commented on your blog
+10 following you blog


Merrie Destefano said...

Mysterious Rose,
Thanks so much for sharing--I'm really glad you didn't give up on singing! I hope you continue to pursue that gift. It's definitely not one that I have, but I really admire those who have it.

Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks for posting and for following my blog!

Pacey1927 said...

I can't wait to read this book. I also always review what I read!
+1 Comment here
+1 Link on Facebook
+3 Comment on other blog
+5 Visit website
+10 Follow blog


Vicki Pettersson said...

Congratulations, Merrie! I'm excited for you, and I can't wait to read AFTERLIFE - it sounds wonderful. And, of course, you know I trust Diana's taste in books. ;-)

Don't enter me in the contest, but know that I'm celebrating with you!

Debi Murray said...

You must be excited beyond belief...I would be, too. I also would be excited that I took early retirement from my day job, except I am too relaxed now to get excited. Can we say stress relief?

+1 comment
+10 followed Blog (DebiM)

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, yes. I nearly gave up on a dream all right.

I nearly gave up on writing.

After too many roadblocks of my own devising, and a severe case of low confidence that hit me just when the time was right (or wrong, as the case may be), I almost put down writing for good.

It took two very, very dear friends to inspire me back to writing: one who gave me the encouragement I needed, and one who gave me the tools to make it a viable reality.

Now? BLOOD OF THE WICKED comes out next year. ;)

But first? I'm so treating myself to AFTERLIFE as a late birthday present! Congratulations, Merrie, I'm so excited for you!

(Don't you dare enter me into your contest. ;) I'll buy it!)

Sable Grace said...

A big Congratulations on seeing your dream come true! Giving up is easy. Sticking it out when everything and everyone in life seems to hate you, that's where true success comes from. Can't wait to read the book. The cover is fantastic! (Laura)

Deborah said...

Congratulations on your book. It is on my tbr list.

van_pham said...

Awesome giveaway :) Been wanting to read Afterlife ever sine I first heard about it.

Thanks for the giveaway!

+1 comment
+3 comment at your blog
+1o following your other blog
Total: 14

Deborah said...

Congratulations. Looking forward to your book :-)
+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook!/profile.php?id=1046020333
+ 3 Posting a comment on my other blog here.
+ 10 Following my other blog here.

Jamie said...

So great to know other people struggle and overcome challenges in their lives. I'm at the point right now where I'm thinking of ditching this whole writing-to-get-published thing, so it helps to hear encouraging words...thanks!

Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks so much!

Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks so much, sweetie! And yes, Diana does have great taste, doesn't she? =) I'm definitely in awesome company at Voyager/Eos!

Merrie Destefano said...

Super congrats on your early retirement! That must be awesome. I hope you have a blast doing what you want!

Anonymous said...

Hello Again (just posted on the other blog! I'm the one who's a soccer mom, and made the crack about the "alter-life")

Anyway, want to win this book!

I already had this blog on my blog roll, so that counts as a link to this blog on mine.

I network blogged the website, so that's 5

Following the other blog, so that's 10

RT this on twitter, 1 more

I added your page to my pages favorites on FB, does that count?

As mentioned before, posted a comment on the other blog, 3

And am commenting here 1

Grand total of 21! Unless you give me an extra point for adding your page to my page's faves.


Thanks for this opportunity. Don't forget to let me kow if you're interested in doing an author interview on my blog. You can check out my standard format, see if you like it, but know that I am open to changing things up as well.

Take care! verification word is tymetoot!! So fits in with my family! LOL!

Merrie Destefano said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story about writing, sweetie! You know, I almost gave up too. Afterlife was going to be my last and final attempt at getting a book published, and at that point I decided to quit "following the rules" and wrote exactly what I wanted.

I can't wait for BLOOD OF THE WICKED! That's definitely on my TBR list!

Three cheers to those good friends who encouraged you to keep pursuing your dream!

Merrie Destefano said...

Sable (Laura),
Thanks so much! I love what you wrote, "Giving up is easy. Sticking it out when everything and everyone in life seems to hate you, that's where true success comes from."

That's so true. Sometimes when people tell me, "No, you can't do that, it won't work," that makes me want to prove that I CAN do it.

I'm really looking forward to your book too!

Merrie Destefano said...

Soap Box In My Mind,
Hi! I loved your comment over on my blog. You made me laugh, and laughing is a good thing. =)

Both reading and writing are such awesome means of escape for me--I couldn't survive without either one.

And I would be honored to do an author interview with you! Thank you so much for asking. My e-mail is: merrie [dot] destefano [at] yahoo [dot] com.

YAY for soccer moms who read supernatural fiction!

Sharon S. said...

You knew I would be here . I haven't given up on any dreams. I have adjusted my wants as I have gotten older and wiser . I don't think I actually have dreams....I just go with the flow and find happiness with what I am given for the most part .
15 points for me!!!

Anonymous said...

The book sounds interesting. I don't draw (other than stick figures, and I've tried). My grandson a drawer but is much to young for either of theses How To books.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Melissa said...

Ooooo all those books look great!
Have 2 links to supernatura underground on my site <a href=">Books and Things</a>
Posted a comment on your blog.
Have link to your blog on my list of blogs
Follow your blog

Melissa said...

Oops forgot to post # of entries... 21

Moonsanity said...

Every time you talk about your book I get so excited for you and so very emotional. I gave up writing for a long time when I was younger because of a guy who made me feel I wasn't good enough. It's one of the only things I regret in my life. I've been writing again for 20 years, so it's all good:) You give me hope.

You rock. Seriously, I am so happy for you:) As far as the forgetfulness-I'm like that all the time since I hit 40. BAHAHAHAHA Add in that we're writers and have all these ideas fogging up our heads, and how are we suppose to remember things?

I commented on your blog and added it to my blog roll:)

Natasha said...

What an amazing contest! I reallly want a copy of Afterlife. :D Congratulations!! I know it's going to be amazing!

+1 comment
+1 I tweeted:
+10 Follow your other blog
+5 Linked to your site- - Left hand bar under Afterlife photo.



Patricia Lynne said...

I always wanted to be an artist. Loved art in HS and even went to college for art for a year and a half (boy was that depressing, everyone else's work looks so much better) but I couldn't see where an art degree would take me so I dropped out. I still wanted to be an artist and now I kinda am.
Whenever I post comments I always fill out my name and add my website. If anyone's looked at the site you'll see handmade jewelry and crafty stuff and that's kinda how I've fulfilled my dream of being an artist. Cuz jewelry has to be designed, patters have to be imagined then you take the tools and make the piece. It's an art form, trust me. I get to put my creativity to work and make a little money (not enough to pay any bills yet, but I got a site, a business licence, it's a start ^^)
Then there's my job. I'm a full time baker in a cafe and we make these diabetes inducing sugar cookies (not really but they're really sweet) and I have to decorate them aka draw on them. Nothing really fancy but I have my moments of creativity where I think of something fun (and usually fast and easy) to put on the cookie.
So yeah, I thought I gave up on my dream of being an artist, but in reality, I just found a different way to do it.
+1 entry for commenting
+1 for tweeting

April said...

Thanks for the giveaway :D

baileythebookworm said...

AWESOME giveaway! Please enter me!! :) Zombies are my favorite...

Helen Lowe said...

Congratulations Merrie--I know your launch day will rock!

Katie Dalton said...

My blog. I never would have tried it if not for a good friend of mine. Daniel. Thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams. :)
Not a strong speller/writer but i do it with love in my heart. I have fun writing reviews and these past few months, since i started, have been the most fulfilling of my life. :)

Nicole said...

Congrats on the getting published! I have accomplished MOST of my goals in life, thanks to my mom and my husband. They both stand by me no matter what, offer words of encouragement, and let me use their shoulder to share some of the burden. Love them for it!!

+1 post
+1 lint to SU on blog
+10 follow other blog

linaramz said...

I'm not sure what my dream is but I hope when I figure it out I'll be able to go for it.

+1 commenting
+10 follow your other blog

Total = 11

jmspettoli said...

Thanks for the giveaway and congrats!

+1 Comment
+1 Twitter:
+3 Posted comment on other blog
+10 Follow other blog

total = 15

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your debut release. I love the cover.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your debut release. I love the cover.

Crystal said...

Congrats on your debut Merrie and on making your dream come true!

Hmm...I don't think there was any dreams that I almost gave up on. I usually get them accomplished eventually. Some may take longer then others though. ;) And my mom is always the #1 person who encourages me to get them accomplished.

I won this fabulous book on an earlier post but I thought maybe I'd enter to try to win it for someone in my book club if that'd be okay. Or How to Draw Vampires and How to Draw Zombies would be awesome!

So congratulations again, only 10 more days! Woohoo!!!!

+1 comment
+1 facebook
+1 linked SU
+3 commented on your blog
+5 linked your website
+10 follow your blog
TOTAL 21 points

c4casey said...

Omg I can't wait until it comes out!

+1 for linking to S.U. on my facebook
+3 for commenting on your other blog
+10 for following your other blog

Total: 14

Sue S. said...

Wow. That's amazing. It must be stressful in some ways yet still exciting to have a book release!

heatwave16 said...

Well, I still have my dream of owning my own island to escape to when I need a break from the craziness of life. :)

Congrats on your release. The new book looks great, and it is on my tbr pile for sure.

+1 for comment
+1 for linking on twitter -
+3 for posting on other blog
+10 for following your other blog

total = 15

Merrie Destefano said...

Thank you to everyone for all of your awesome comments! I've been reading all of them. I really love the fact that so many of you have had someone there to encourage you when you needed it. And I'm glad you haven't given up on your dreams! Never give up!! =)

Jessica said...

Wow awesome! I so cannot wait to read this!

+1 link to Supernatural Underground
+3 posted on other blog
+10 follow other blog
+5 link to website

19 points

donnas said...

Congrats on the release. Sounds like its going to be really good. Looking forward to reading it.

+1 comment
+1 tweet -
+ 3 Posted on your other blog
+ 10 Follow your other blog

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Aik said...

+1 Awesome contest! I'd love to enter!

+1 Linking to this post on Twitter

+1 Linking to this post on Facebook

+ 3 Posting a comment on your other blog

+ 10 Following your other blog

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Sweet Rachel! said...

I almost gave up on my dreams of ever becoming a make-up artist. My Family really discouraged me. But I just became more and more determined.

+1 here
+1 twitter
+1 facebook
+10 your blog

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the giveaway. New follower.

Post comment +1
Visit and comment other blog +3
Follow other blog +10