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Category: Announcements

Portrait of Woman in Ink now available in paperback!

The Kindle-first launch of PORTRAIT OF WOMAN IN INK: A TATTOO STORYBOOK has gone so swimmingly (but busily) I haven’t even had time to tell y’all how swimmingly it’s gone before the launch of the paperback editions, which coincidentally happens today! The 6×9 paperback is now available for purchase in both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so justify the killing of trees (or the practice of recycling) for the good of human knowledge. It’s also available in Nook from the Barnes & Noble online retail dwarf.

So, now that the important news is out of the way, here’s the not-so important list of facts on how the book launch has gone:

  • In its first day on the Kindle store, Portrait of Woman in Ink reach a position around #22,000 – which is actually pretty damned good.
  • The Kindle edition already has three 5-star reviews on Amazon, and my mother is not one of them.
  • I have my first book blog appearances scheduled for the near future, so keep your eyes peeled.
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PORTRAIT OF WOMAN IN INK now on Kindle!

Untitled-1The big day is finally here! It is a grand book birthday for PORTRAIT OF WOMAN IN INK, courtesy of Bird Brain Publishing. It’s launching in the Amazon Kindle store first, where you can nab it for the special introductory price of $5.99. Next will be Nook, other e-readers, and paperback.

This book comes to fruition (banana flavored) after a near 2-year labor of love. I began writing it in October 2011, sent my first query letter July 2012, and signed a book deal with Bird Brain Publishing January 2013. Today, August 5, 2013, it’s launching in all its glory!

Nab your Kindle copy now by going HERE

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Help me pick my back cover text (and digital equivalent)

As the publication date (though still concretely undetermined) draws closer and closer for Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook, I am playing around with the back cover text, or product description in the digital world. Any writer will tell you that this is one of the hardest things to do, since it is so hard to persuasively and objectively write about your own work. So much so that it’s often outsourced on elance to the tune of $6.00 an hour. While I could certainly afford this (even though I find it insulting), I try to not to make a habit of paying people to do things I am – or at least should be – perfectly capable of doing myself.

That said, I’m certainly not above asking y’all if it’s total crap. Or more kindly, which description piques your interest the most. So have a gander, let me know what you think, and grow your impetus for getting Portrait of Woman in Ink at the first possible moment. I’m not sure that impetus is the right word for this situation, but I digress…

Product Description 1

Whether you’re an avid body art collector or a Luddite who believes tattooed women have thrust themselves into the clutches of Satan himself, there’s no denying tattoos have become a mainstay for Gen-Xers and the Millennials. Thirty years ago, women with tattoos were viewed through eyes that saw them as freaks, while today young women proudly sport ink, even if they sometimes have to wear long sleeves to maintain propriety in less-enlightened professional or family company.

Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook is a series of literary vignettes about real, everyday women and their tattoos that, while they may seem insignificant at the time, are a symbol of the larger struggles and triumphs that make them who they are (and aren’t freaks because of it). The collection also explores the idea of tattoos bringing together women from different worlds, and teaching them how their worlds might not be as far apart as they originally thought. Portrait of Woman in Ink will touch your heart, make you snicker under your breath, and make you rethink the next time you see a woman sporting a tattoo.

Product Description 2

Twelve women, twelve tattoos, and a narrative thread that weaves them all together, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook is a collection of stories that answers the question in the back of your mind when you see an inked woman: what does your tattoo mean? (or sometimes – what were you thinking?) From a parent’s suicide to the birth of an unlikely child, the stories behind why women tattoo themselves are literally worn on their sleeves, and retold on these pages with a literary twist.

Complete with artwork from the original tattoo artists and a foreword by women’s studies professor Dr. Marta Vicente, Portrait of Woman in Ink is a literary celebration of a woman’s defiance of traditional norms, transforming their skin in a way that was once acceptable only for criminals and sailors. These stories will touch your heart, make you snicker under your breath, and make you rethink the next time you see a woman proudly sporting a tattoo.

Product Description 3

Who says tattoos are unladylike? (Besides your mother, your pastor, and your boss…) Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook is a collection of tales from women who so wanted the world to know their stories that they put the words into a picture and etched it permanently on their bodies. These stories are tragic, hilarious, absurd, and touching all at the same time, with a narrative thread that connects each story to the one before it.

Complete with artwork from the original tattoo artists and a foreword by one of academia’s foremost voices in women’s studies, Portrait of Woman in Ink is a series of literary vignettes about real, everyday women and their tattoos that, while they may seem insignificant at the time, are a symbol of the larger struggles and triumphs that make them who they are. The collection explores the idea of tattoos bringing together women from different worlds, and teaching them how their worlds might not be as far apart as they originally thought.

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Cover Reveal for Portrait of Woman in Ink

women in ink cover 1Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you’re all having loads of fun this weekend. I know I certainly am, because this morning I woke up to an email from my publisher with the cover image for my next book!

This tattoo was designed by Jessie Hopeless of Exile Tattoo in Kansas City, MO.

Of course this is by no means the final product, so what do you think? Would you pick this off a shelf?

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Those poems I had accepted 3 years ago? Finally in print!

215311_10200854804393258_414926138_nIn the before time, the long long ago (circa Feb 2010), Kelly I. Hitchcock had her first two poems accepted for publication by Clackamas Literary Review. These poems were Crayola Caste System and Skipping Stones. Many moons passed and Kelly began to wonder when the journal would be published and whether she should start sending some of her work to other journals. After all, this was one of those ancient texts which operate on mailed in submissions and federal grant funding. She at one point even used a telephone device to contact the Clackamas English department after several electronic mail pony expresses went unanswered; she just wanted to know if and when the fruits of her labor would appear on the page of this mysterious volume.

Well, just three short years later, that day is finally here. As of May 2013, the 2010 edition (I know, right?) of Clackamas Literary Review is finally published, along with the two poems that were accepted all those years ago. You can even purchase it on this newfangled thing called Amazon.

Okay, I poke fun a little bit. It’s certainly a poorly kept secret that the publishing industry is slow-ass-slow. Even so, a three year publication timeline for work that was already submitted by contributors and accepted by the editing staff is embarrassingly slow. I mean, in over three years, the following things have happened:

The work computer on which I wrote Crayola Caste System was two work computers ago.

The guy I was seeing (?) at the time I wrote Skipping Stones is now engaged to someone else, and I am married to someone else.

Obama was elected to a second term.

I had ten other poems and short stories get accepted and published by other literary journals.

I published one novel and wrote another.

Still, I never take a publication for granted. Any time I can have my work be accepted by a journal, it is a distinct honor, and having these two poems appear in Clackamas Literary Review is no exception. We all know it’s tough for print journals these days, but I can’t help but look at this situation with an adapt-or-die viewpoint. If it takes a publisher three years to go to print, eventually its reputation for slow-ass-slow publication timelines will supersede its reputation for quality contributions. Also, if you’re going to charge people to buy the print journal using online retailers such as Amazon, wouldn’t it be easy enough to offer it for electronic reading and open a new revenue stream?

But hey, that’s why I’m the writer and not the business person. And if you have $10 to spare, feel free to grab yourself a copy of the 2010 edition of Clackamas Literary Review. And maybe the 2011 issue in  2015, or the 2012 issue in 2025…

 

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It’s a deal! Portrait of Woman in Ink newest member of Bird Brain Publishing family

Yep; it’s the longest blog title ever, but I’m so happy about getting this deal done I can’t think of a better abbreviation. After a needlessly long contract process, I’ve signed a book deal with Bird Brain Publishing for my second novel, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook. We don’t have a release date defined yet, but it’ll be coming on quickly since we’ve already finished our editing process.

Now we have to do all the artwork, which is quite a bit more involved than a standard book with it being about tattoos and all. But I think it’ll go pretty quickly since they’ve got some talented graphics people on their small team.

I first queried them way back in July. Believe it or not, they were actually the first ones I queried, and one of the first small presses I had on my short list who expressed interest in the project. As a few more publishers expressed interest, our negotiations process stretched out a bit, but anything worth doing is worth doing right and taking your time with, and I am very excited about working with these crazy nice and talented peeps!

Plus, you know, it’s my first book deal, so I’ve got to be pretty stoked, right?

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The passive-aggressive breakup, part 2

Some time ago I mentioned that I had two publishers who were interested in my forthcoming novel, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook. I also mentioned that both of them mysteriously stopped answering emails or returning phone calls for a little while. Frustrated out of my mind (hey – I don’t take kindly to being ignored), I contacted them both to have the DTR talk (defining the relationship, for those of you who’ve never had one… I mean, heard this term :D). Essentially, “Hey, are you still interested in me, or did that new girl from Valley steal you away from me?”

Okay, so I didn’t say it like that, and I don’t have anything against new girls (though we didn’t have many of them where I grew up), but I did ask if they were still interested in a very straightforward manner. To my surprise, both of them came back into the fold, saying they were still interested, and would be sending along contracts shortly. “Shortly” is a relative term in the publishing industry, I’ve found, as one of them sent their book deal contract along within a couple months. The other one however…

I kept talking with them, making sure they were still interested. They assured me that I was still very much on their radar and that my hair still looked good (metaphorically speaking). They strung me along for a bit, and even when I played the “I have another offer” card, they assured me that no other publisher could do for me what they could do for me, and that they’d have a deal over to me by the end of the month. That month, for your reference, was January.

In case you don’t own a calendar, it’s April, and they just told me TUH-DAY that they’ve decided to go in a new direction. I could be a little miffed at them, but how can I be, really? After all, I’m the one who let them string me along for 4 months, and didn’t just flat out say “Where’s my book deal, already?!” But I also can’t be angry with myself too much because I knew better than to let the door close on the first publisher who was interested, the ones who actually *did* have the consideration to send me the book deal they said they would, because I signed with them.

… But more on that in a post to come!

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In which I appear in a print anthology

In case you missed it, I had a poem published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine back in May, my poem “Culley’s Pub: An Elegy“.

This same publisher is putting out a print anthology soon, and they’ve accepted Culley’s Pub to be part of this anthology. Yay! As per traditional publishing standards, I get a free copy of the anthology as payment for my work. Not complaining, just stating a fact.

As a little background, Culley’s Pub was my bar in college. Not by choice – my ex-husband always wanted to go there so we always went. Their signature drink was Mickey’s malt liquor, if that tells you anything. I’m told even the building Culley’s isn’t there anymore, so I suppose this is my way of immortalizing this seedy-ass dive bar.

In other news, I am starting a new job today so wish me luck.

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