#GivingTuesday

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There has been radio silence from me during the time Black Friday seeped into Thanksgiving, the weekend, and became a whole Black Friday Week. Now it appears Cyber Monday has turned into Cyber Week. (a/s/l?)

No, I haven’t been shopping. I didn’t do any special sales at my webstore on my books either. I spent way too much time promoting sales last year and did not make one sale. Instead, I used that time recovering from throwing my back out two weeks ago moving furniture, getting caught up on cleaning, and decorating for the holidays. also-availableDuring that time, I also had a breakthrough on figuring out which software to use for the layout of my third book in The Sick Rose Vampires series, The Heart is a Rebel.

I will save you the details, but I had beaucoup problems and frustration putting together my last book. There was time and energy lost with using sub par software when it could have went towards making additional and better quality illustrations. Despite lack of funds and training on the fanciest and current ways of putting together a book or the means to hire someone who can, I may have figured out a way to make this go easier. This has always been a fly by the seat of my pants operation. Without yet saying what I’m specifically using this time around, so far so good.

So, it’s “Giving Tuesday”. A day set aside to make consumerism feel better, if there is money left after Black/Cyber Week/Month/Whatever events to donate to charity. Let’s make giving a part of our lifestyle, and not just because we need to feel better about our spending habits, or because it’s the holidays. If you don’t have the moola, donate your time or skills. Last week I got to spend time with elementary school kids making art.

drawing-for-a-cureI thought today would be a good day for me to announce that I’ve been working with Drawing For A Cure, a non-profit organization of artists who contribute artwork with all sales going towards the American Cancer Society. You may have seen my Joker/Harley fan art as a coloring page. Soon you can get it as a full color print exclusively from Drawing For A Cure, with all proceeds going to a good cause. WIN

Did you do something special for #GivingTuesday? How do you make giving a part of your life the rest of the year?

DollarCon Summer Sale

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I’m still picking up the pieces after having my vehicle stolen two months ago. I haven’t scheduled any conventions or book-signings for the rest of the summer. Why would I do that if I need the money? I don’t think people realize how expensive it can be for an artist or indie author to appear at a convention. Aside from paying for table fees, we have to make sure we have enough stock on hand to actually sell. Most times I am lucky to make back my table fee let alone what it costs to bring the merchandise to you. I am usually paying more to make an appearance. When you’re an indie, that’s the way it goes, and I accept that. But I also need to be realistic right now as I continue to struggle from the financial blow I took to replace my car.

dollarconI’ve decided to try doing some fun sales online in the meantime over the rest of the summer. My first summer deal is DollarCon! I’ve marked down all 8-1/2 x 11 prints in my portfolio to $1.00!!! This will be for an undetermined limited time due to there being VERY limited quantities of prints. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. I’m not planning on printing any more. All $1 print orders include a FREE copy of the 2016 #IndieBooksBeSeen catalog for you to pick out some reading material to get through the dog days of summer!

My two books published so far in The Sick Rose Vampires series are still available as a discounted bundle.

You may also help with the car replacement fund at gofundme.com or at my webstore.

I am signed up for two conventions in the fall. Monroe Comic Con and Comique Con in October. Please check my Events page for more information!

Stay tuned for more summer steals from my store, Sick Shoppe!

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#IndiePrideDay 2016

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I have been having a blast working with #IndieBooksBeSeen. It is a great network of self-published authors, and I’ve been having fun being a part of their catalog for 2016. I am so proud to be able to share this catalog at book-signings and provide it for free to my readers. It’s a beautiful catalog with a myriad of book selections.

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#IndieBooksBeSeen catalog at Cosplay Con, Taylor, Michigan on June 4th

#IndieBooksBeSeen is a movement that comes with it’s very own holiday that I am pleased to be participating in this year. It’s a day for us indie authors to take over social media, brag about our work, and offer special deals to our readers. Last year #IndiePrideDay was a top trending topic on Twitter. Let’s do it again, shall we?

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I’ve decided to do something really crazy for this special day. It’s something I’ve never done before and will only be available on July 1st. Well, here it is:

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Get #BOGO here!

Take advantage of this insane offer in the name of Indie Pride! I’m being brave and offering a DEEP discount even though I’m still trying to get a new vehicle after mine was stolen about a month ago. You may track my progress of obtaining a replacement ride and contribute here. Supporting my writing and art helps too! Please buy my stuff here! Thank you so very much!

BONUS: For #IndiePrideDay I am also offering you direct access to a SUPER-natural deal from paranormal romance author, Sharon Lipman. Check back here one week from tomorrow to see what it is. I promise, it’s good!

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The Tale of Batty Bat

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Once in a while as some of you may know, I volunteer with elementary level art classes. It’s how I can get in some kid time, have fun with art, and relax. My favorite projects to do are around Halloween (my favorite holiday). This past Halloween I made a bat out of a toilet paper roll with the little ones. This bat has come with me to all my comic book shows since then. Whether or not people noticed him at my booth, he was a permanent fixture there. His name was Batty Bat.

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Me pictured with my stolen display and Batty Bat

When my truck was stolen almost a month ago, much of my comic book convention supplies were inside: shelving, display hooks, posters, and signs. I was hesitant to confirm all of what exactly was lost with the setup. All I knew for certain was all the big stuff was gone. While I was organizing things to bring to Cosplay Con last Friday night, I got a pleasant surprise!

Batty Bat was still here! My vehicle was gone. All the fancy signage and display was gone, but my TP roll bat attached to a Popsicle stick was here! Sometimes it’s the little things.

Did you see Batty Bat in my set-up at Cosplay Con? Taylor, Michigan, June 4th

Thank you to everyone who chipped in to help make my first book signing appearance since the theft a smooth success.

You may help me replace my stolen vehicle by donating to my gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/replacerachelsride

You may also help by purchasing items, including my new book “Skin of the Night”, from my webstore.

The Sick Rose Vampires is “Bleeding Cool” on Comics Day

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This morning I woke up to the kindness of strangers and my story being featured on international comic book news and rumors website, Bleeding Cool. More people are stepping up to support me getting a replacement vehicle and convention gear. For every troll trying to thwart my plea, there is someone out there who “gets it”. Many of these people are artists, vendors, or somehow related to the comics world themselves and understand the hustle like no one else can. My donors and those offering moral support and sympathy are helping me stay strong. They are making it okay to ask for help, when doing so is so scary.

A big shout out to my Comic Book Industry Adviser, Verlon Murray, for taking my story to Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool. Verlon has been on my team since day one, from consulting me on the layout of my first book to helping me at my first book signing. He has helped me to evolve stylistically in my work, and expand my visual representation at comic book shows. He also assisted with the popular advertising “selfie” campaign used for Book I. I’m optimistic that fans will appreciate the new look of Book II! Skin of the Night has incorporated more traditional comic book elements without taking away from the prose and features some of my new and improved digital coloring techniques.

xtravacon ad smallYou may read the Bleeding Cool article here.

You may support my gofundme page here.

You may PREORDER a signed copy of my new book here.

You may come out to this place and give me a hug here:

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They Can Take My Ride But They Can’t Take My Dreams

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I’ve been throwing myself into finishing and promoting the publication of Skin of the Night as a way of coping with some bad news that I’ve been reluctant to share publicly. My vehicle was stolen last week with my convention set-up gear inside. I was also waiting to see if my truck would be found. To answer a question posted before my gofundme page was removed from the Artist Alley International group on facebook, the police are involved.

You may read the rest of what happened here.

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The photo above shows what I mean as far as convention gear. The shelving unit, sign, illuminated bat, extension chords and promo posters were taken with the truck.

I am humbly appealing to my fans, the over 600 of you following my blog, to help me get back on track. My next book-signing/comic convention appearance is in 11 days. My display might be less than impressive, but I will be there. The book is done. The bad guys will not stop me.

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Thank you everyone for your financial and moral support. Thank you for sharing my story. Thank you for being a fan.

Multiracial Media

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The Sick Rose Vampires Book I: Blood & Alcohol is currently on the front page of the new website Multiracial Media! The site focuses on the multiracial experience in all different aspects of the arts.

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I was so flattered when Sarah Ratliff, co-author of the book Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, invited me to be a part of the launch. I was introduced to Sarah, Bryony Sutherland, and their book last year through Twitter. They were gracious enough to provide feedback on my first book and my representation of biracial characters in my work.

The book Being Biracial has become a learning tool to not only help me write for my characters, but enlighten me as a human being. What has left the biggest mark on me from reading the book is how mixed raced individuals within the same multicultural family can become divided when their self-identity differs more strongly toward one aspect of their race than another. For example, if there are biracial (black/white) siblings, not only could one identify more with the African-American side of their culture, prefer it, and even resent their white side, the other sibling in the same family could feel a pull in the opposite direction.  Maybe the other sibling relates more to white culture, or being biracial as their culture. There’s a lot of different dynamics there that I haven’t thought about as someone who identifies as one race.

Now throw into the mix a person being another species, say a vampire, and things can get really complicated! Without revealing any spoilers in The Sick Rose Vampires, there is no doubt Being Biracial has been essential reading for me, and it’s influence will show up in my future work.

I am pleased to be a part of Multiracial Media because being multiracial is a big part of The Sick Rose Vampires. So pleased am I in fact that you may now read Book I: Blood & Alcohol in it’s entirety for free at Multiracial Media! This is really exciting because Book II: Skin of the Night is nearing completion! I have at least one more drawing to do, a little more editing, and then it’s off to the beta-readers!

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