Friday, January 27, 2017

Thomas and Mercer Imprint Can Contact me Now

I'm sitting at my desk waiting to be discovered by Thomas and Mercer, Montlake, or Lake Union Publishing at Amazon.

If you are an acquisitions editor over there, I invite you to take a look at my body of work. You can have any or all of my books except NECESSARY DETOUR which is already with Amazon Encore and is on Amazon Prime right now.
Amazon already owns that one and it is doing very well this month, having reached #55 in Paid Kindle last week.

Prime Rocks!

I drift in and out of having an author ranking, which is fun.

I just spent the day making a list of agents that might be interested in my next novel FORTUNE, the story of a diminished woman who finds redemption and worth through the adoption of a handicapped newborn in Taiwan. It is a Suspense in the sense that The Husband's Secret and The Girl Who Wrote in Silk were Suspense. Upmarket Women's Fiction, Suspense, Romance, they all work.

As an author, I'm unrepresented by an agent but am open to representation. I tried to get an agent years ago, gave up and self-published (not my idea of optimal) and figure I've spent about 27 solid weeks of my life querying agents. Maybe more, but I've come to the realization that it must be REALLY hard to take a chance on a new client and most agents are not that adventurous.

Or I'm a crappy writer.

But, if it was the latter, why would I have 155 reviews on NECESSARY DETOUR at 4.5* and 3334 reviews on The DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE at 4.6*? And why would TDJP be an Amazon Bestseller up there with Dr. Sleep by King for weeks?

There is a market for my style and level of writing. Numbers don't lie.
The Dream Jumper's Promise in  4th place (with the BLUE book cover - not the final cover) just behind Dr. Sleep.
The average 40 year-old woman likes my stories if they discover me. Very few readers give my books a bad review. Oh, except for the gal who wrote "The couple was so horny!" She gave me a 2* review for the sequel to PROMISE. That one has 59 reviews at 4.6*. Best worst review EVER!

The final cover to The Dream Jumper's Promise
just under Stephen King's Dr. Sleep (again)
I just read a blog by a gal who got an email from a senior acquisitions editor at Lake Union, Jodi Warshaw, saying they were interested in her self-published novel. They cleaned it up and republished her book and now it's doing better than ever. How thrilling!

I'm open to that kind of attention for any of my books except Necessary Detour which is owned by Amazon already (twice now, I've said this to show that someone over there at Amazon likes my work.)

I looked up how to submit to Thomas & Mercer but there is no information online. Apparently, the various Amazon Imprints must contact you, you don't query them. I suppose agents contact them but they do not take unsolicited queries. I can understand this. They are busy people, vetting the queries through agents. I understand it, but I don't like it. I need an agent too.

So, in a total self-promotional moment, I'm going to list some of my brag-worthy stuff if anyone reading this is an acquisitions editor at Amazon, or a really good agent for what I write.
The Dream Jumper's Promise

Book Signing Event at B & N Maui, Author David Schoonover attended!

I'm standing by now for my dream agent or an acquisitions editor to contact me.

Feel free to check me out on Amazon over here.
Then email me at kimhornsby @ yahoo .com to talk about acquiring something or representing me.

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Audience in Underwear!

Pretend everyone in front of you is wearing their underwear. That's what the public speaking experts say to help get over nervous jitters when addressing a group.
I've never found this helps me stay on topic because of my over active imagination working overtime to conjure up two hundred sets of different underwear, instead of focusing on my talk. One gal has lacy mauve lingerie but the one next to her prefers her white granny panties with an industrial strength bra...that type of thing.
What helps me when speaking in front of a large group is the knowledge that the people out there WANT me to succeed. Genuinely. They WANT to like me. Having invested an hour of their time in me, they are hoping their choice proves to be worthwhile and are prepared to give me the benefit of the doubt about how engaging I will be. This is fact. I have an extensive background in entertainment and reading audiences. Those faces in front of you might look passive but behind their blank expression is interest, agreement and engagement.
Sometimes, when I'm listening to a speaker, I stop and note that I'm wearing my resting bitch face but inside I'm thinking things like Oh, this is good stuff, Yes!, She's funny, I like that last statement.
Even though I'm not showing my support or interest on the outside, I can be nodding my head and smiling on the inside. I try to change my expression to let the speaker know I'm on board even though my previously frozen expression wasn't highly favorable.

As the speaker, you look out on the sea of faces, often observe a whole lot of nothing, and find it hard to carry on. That's why some people take off their glasses during a speech or try to look to the back of the room or directly at empty chairs. It's daunting to see glazed over eyes and surly expressions. Performers have been known to stop a show and call out someone in the front row who is on their phone, texting, but this is never a good thing. One must assume their inner expression is fascination and happiness and carry on as such. Assume the best.

I recently did a book signing/talk at Barnes & Noble Maui (I know, right!) and one particular woman looked bored to tears. I even sped up my talk to accommodate her expression, several times. But when the talk ended and she lined up to buy several books, I realized that she was a big fan, loved my work, and her expression wasn't indicative of what she was feeling. She wanted her photo with me for her social media pages. I was wrong to assume her passive facial expression was boredom. Don't fall in to this trap. It's rarely correct.
Audiences are completely in your corner, cheering for your success as a public speaker.

Here's some quick tips to help you get through a speech or talk:

1. Assume they like you and will find you interesting/funny/engaging. Use self talk.
2. Make eye contact with as many as you can during your talk
3. Smile when you say something amusing but don't guffaw at your own jokes
4. Feel free to pause to gather your thoughts. You can insert a nod or smile here
5. Stand up straight, speak clearly, don't fidget
6. Show your audience that you feel genuine fondness and appreciation for them
7. Imagine a rock star side of yourself who loves the stage
8. Do not giggle nervously or show you doubt your words
9. Thank your audience for listening
10. Pretend you're a big deal!

Good luck out there to anyone whose favorite pastime is not public speaking. Go Get 'Em!

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Diving at The Cathedral Caverns off Lanai

We woke way before dawn, gathered our stuff and drove to Maala boat ramp to meet Extended Horizons for their morning boat charter. We were excited even though paying for a boat charter feels wrong after a decade of being paid to do dive charters but I was not in charge this morning, did not own the boat and no longer have Scuba Instructor PADI insurance. It felt good to be a customer!
Eliza and Kim - Dive Buddies!
The boat ride to Lanai was lovely as the sun rose behind the West Maui Mountains and graced us with rays of buttery sunshine. Humpback whales were out in full force, tail slapping, breaching, blowing off in the distance, their black backs glinting in the sun before they dove to the bottom of the channel.
Our first dive was at a place called No Name Paradise, a large underwater rock formation off the backside of Lanai that was home to hundreds of fish and gorgeously interesting sea critters. Although our group of 6 did not see the shark, the other group did. We were led by a Russian man named Mike who was the photographer/instructor which meant that our dive involved a lot of looking at minutia while Mike took pics. I love the little stuff, personally.
Shooting out the hole at The Cathedrals
Inside The Cathedrals
The second dive was The Cathedrals, the reason for booking this charter, (along with the fact they run on bio fuel cooking oil from the restaurants in Lahaina and the boat smells like fries!) and after mooring to the pre-set line at the famous dive spot, we slipped in to the water. No current, no surge, 50 feet of visibility! We dropped down, scoured the reef for octopus, posed for photos and then headed in through the biggest opening in the grand Cathedral to spend time in a cavern that was formed from underwater gases trapped inside lava.
Frog Fish!
I've done this dive hundreds of times but it's always special and lovely and ethereal and daunting. Inside the Church-sized room are things not seen in the sunlight like Black Coral, fish with big eyes adapted to the dark, lobster and sometimes sharks who like caverns.
We posed for photos and then shot out a small opening to the sunshine and hunted for interesting life in the lava cracks. A viper moray was a great find, and my favorite little fish, The Box Fish!. Once back on the boat, were glad we were happy to have been in Mike's group to buy the pictures from him. Bragging rights are everything!
Box Fish (my favorite)
Back on dry land and after lunch at Lynn's (garden asparagus, brie cheese, crackers, papaya, teriyaki chicken skewers) and a two hour nap, we put on eyeliner and lipstick, donned sundresses and drove in to Lahaina. Front Street art galleries and T-shirt shops, good conversation and memories of living here back in the day later, we landed at Kimo's Restaurant and scored a great table overlooking the ocean. Surrounded by tiki torches and outrigger canoes hung from the rafters, we ordered dinner while a cruise ship pulled out of Lahaina, it's fairy-like lights twinkling as it crossed our view of the sunset. Dinner was delicious- beet and blue salad, parmesan crusted Ono with wild rice and Machong drenched in lemon butter. Two glasses of chardonnay later, we wandered along Front Street to our car and came home to more Trump drama on the TV on CNN.
Today we fly home, leaving our friend and our island of sunshine and ocean for the cold January weather of Seattle. Is it any wonder they call this place Paradise?
Kim and Eliza at The Cathedrals
the boat ride
Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 5 on Maui!

Today we got out early and drove north to Honolua Bay to get a parking spot before we couldn't.

By 10 AM we were walking down the road with jungly growth on both sides, forded the clear water stream and came out to a spot where an older Hawaiian man was sweeping and raking. Jimmy's family apparently owns the land surrounding the bay (all beaches are legally obligated to have public access) and he welcomed everyone nicely, telling them it was his land. I talked story for 20 minutes with Jimmy then Eliza and I got in the water and headed to the north side of the bay away from the stream runoff. The coral looked healthy and prolific and turtles munched on stuff between coral heads. When hundreds of small silver fish rushed by us, I said to Eliza that something big was chasing them and we waited to see what it could be. I was slightly relieved to see it wasn't a shark but 3 large ulua that appeared to coral the fish to feed and terrorize.
Eliza saw an eel out of the coral and soon we were back at the car warming up in the hot sun. i showed her the site called Hobbit Land where Hank parked his truck the day he never returned from surfing, in The Dream Jumper's Promise. Stopping for Mexican food at Maui Tacos, we paid for 3 enormous takeout tubs and had lunch on Lynn's patio within the hour.
The afternoon plan involved me driving upcountry to Kula to see my friends Bob and Neida Bangerter. With Neida's work at Maui Arts and Cultural Center, this was the only day to see my old friends from the band I used to sing with doing Maui convention shows.
Great visit, wonderful scones baked by the amazing Neida, along with fresh lemon curd and tea, and catching up on family stories was like having a good hug on a bad day. Not that it was a bad day at all, but old friends are amazingly special to hang onto.
Two hours later I was back in the car, joining the line of vehicles heading to Lahaina at sunset time. When I finally reached Lynn's house, in Kahana, I was tired and feeling like a night with feet up on the coffee table was a great idea. And that is what Eliza, Spencer and I did while Lynn went to work to sling Mai Tais at KBH.
The inauguration of Donald Trump is all anyone can talk about these days. Us too. Even the dog had to leave the room at one point.

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Snorkeling & Sign Making!

Day 4 on Magical Maui!

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head
Not really but this desk is very close to a poster of The Beatles at my friend Lynn's house and I'm constantly singing a running track of Beatles hits in my head these days. Lynn is a HUGE Beatles fan.
I woke at 6 in the dark, which is perfect for me here. I don't want to miss a minute! After writing yesterday's blog and drinking loads of Kona coffee, Eliza and I found ourselves walking along Kaanapali Beach with snorkel gear.
Black Rock did not disappoint. There was no surge, no current, no surf and loads of fishies. Unlike every other time I've been to Black Rock in the last 20 years, there also were no turtles seen but we snorkeled our butts off looking for a shark.
Walking back to the car to go meet Lynn for lunch we found a dragon in the sand, it's artist/creator now gone. Some people are so clever!

Lunch at the Gazebo restaurant proved to be filling and full of whale watching from our too low for the height of the table chairs (making me feel like a toddler without a booster seat)
Our little energy-efficient "Green" car took us south after that, down the Maui coastline to the Pali Lookout where we stopped to Whale Watch. There are loads of those suckers out there and we knew it from the running cocktail party-type whale chatter you can hear while snorkeling.
I was invited to a small gathering at Bestselling Author, Toby Neal's house in Pukalani, it being her birthday, so Eliza dropped me off at Toby's house and she went on to the beach and shops of Paia.
Toby and her sister Bonnie greeted me at the door with big smiles and open arms and when everyone arrived we set to making fun protest signs for the Women's March on Maui next week.
The theme was Aloha/Love/Women's Rights and amongst lots of laughter and conversation we colored our way to a rousing political discussion. It was a burn your bra kind of hour with women sharing stories and concerns that was worthy of the 60's, as Toby said. Love me some Girlfriend Time.
When Eliza arrived to pick me up, one of the gals had a flat tire and another one, Jan, was changing the thing, flat out on the pavement in a white top with a car jack. Women's Empowerment!
Eliza and I chased the sunset back to Lahaina side where we stopped at Kaanapali Beach Hotel for a little hula show/Hawaiian music, a Blue Hawaii drink (me) and a banana chocolate ice cream looking slice of heaven (her).
No bouncing kids and drunk parents on the street to raise the noise level to an unsleepable decibel so we went to bed with our Kindles and fell off to sleep on a huge bed with 400 thread count sheets, down-filled pillows and an egg carton topper. Heaven...

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Day 3 on Maui, Baby!

Woke up worrying that no one would come to my book signing event in Lahaina, Maui. Trying to push that horrid thought to the back of my mostly empty mind, I drank two cups of coffee and made a distraction plan for the morning.
We'd talked of doing a dive early then returning the rental gear but opted for a quick snorkel at Airport Beach, (now called something entirely different.)

Snorkeled off beach above Black Rock
Apres snorkel in the parking lot

The day was shaping up to be glorious at 9 AM and that fact was only accentuated by the fact that we got a parking spot near the beach and slipped in to the water effortlessly. The swell (big, long rolling expanses of water) had stirred up the visibility close to shore so we snorkeled out to where we could see the coral but that made it so far away that for this scuba diver who likes to glide only two feet off the reef, it was frustrating. Although Airport Beach is a great place to do beginner dives, I'd forgotten how far away the coral reef is from the surface. We saw a large school of enormous yellow tangs, something I don't remember ever having seen before. I did not know they were a fish that hung out in schools! The coral didn't look as bad as two years earlier. So much depends on whether last summer's water temp was really warm.

Having a big laugh with Ray!
Back at Lynn's we hung out with our hostess, talked, then put on the Seahawks game only to be taunted into thinking we were going for the championship and then being cut off at the knees.
I busied myself making chocolate covered strawberries for the book signing.

Driving in to Barnes & Noble, I tried to remember Nancy's last name to tell Eliza that Bessie and Nancy would be there, only to notice the van in front said LYNCH. How's that for the universe delivering an immediate answer? -Nancy Lynch had arrived all the way from Kihei.

The book signing was great fun. I grabbed most of the store's chairs, made an audience area and when everyone was seated, started talking. People said it was entertaining so I guess I'll have to take their words for it. I sold most of the store's copies of my book, signed them, passed out strawberries and had a fabulous time. Is it any wonder when I get in a social situation and can't get a word in edgewise, I feel unloved and unfulfilled. I must have a great need to be noticed as the baby in the family. Psychology 101. Note to self: I inherited the Morgan arms. Oh well. I frickin had a B&N book signing!
Me and David, author of Kapuu

David Schoonover, who is one of my fellow Lei Crime KW authors, drove all the way from Kihei to say hello and lend support and many other people arrived simply because they thought it might be an interesting talk. I hope they felt it was.

Me and Lynn goofing around

Eliza and Lynn

Sunset was approaching so we got out of our fancy clothes, gathered up the doggie, Spencer, who'd just been told he DOESN'T have cancer but has a heart condition, and took him for a celebratory walk north of the Kapalua Golf Course on the trails. He chugged along like the 13 year old trooper he is while Lynn, Eliza and I talked politics. This topic has become our obsession, like most of the nation.

Dinner at the Napili Kai Beach Club - The sea House Restaurant was absolutely magical! The sunset involved streaks of peachy pink and lavender across the mostly clear sky and the food was to die for.
The three of us shared snocchi in cream sauce, beet and goat cheese salad, mahi mahi in coconut/mac nut crust, onaga (red snapper) in basil pesto crust and mushroom risotta and spent 20 minutes humming to ourselves eating in ecstasy. New fav restaurant on Maui!

Back at Lynn's, the house across the street had 37 children over to play in the dark outside, and the party included a bounce house and scads of drunk parents, motorized play trucks and music. The fun didn't allow for us to go to sleep until 11 but that was okay because I'm reading Toby Neal's new book SCORCHED and couldn't put it down!
More later...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Maui Garbage Trucks Take Over the House!

Day 2

I woke to the crashing and screeching of 17 garbage trucks in the bedroom, right by my head. Well, not quite but the noise was deafening at 6 AM in the dark, like some apocalyptic machine devouring everything in its path. Once the garbage truck moved on, I lay there in the dark, trying to get back to sleep. Then another horrifically noisy truck came and went. I was fully awake at 6:15 but that's okay. I didn't want to miss a minute of being on Maui!
I made a pot of coffee and watched the sun rise behind the West Maui Airport out the house's back windows. Two cups of coffee later, Eliza and I got our lily-white butts out the door to go rent dive gear. Kapalua Bay was our plan and by the time I parked the car 10 minutes away and we got to the water with full scuba gear on, we were sweating like Maui boars, eager to hit that crystal-clear water.
Visibility was probably thirty feet which was ok by me, fish were everywhere, the coral was thriving once we got into deeper water and we saw lots of fun stuff including a Hawaiian sea turtle the size of a small dog bed, resting under a ledge. Seeing us, she launched herself into the water and slowly ambled away into the blue water over the sandy field beyond the rocks. One crown of thorns starfish later, we crossed the bay at fifteen feet and headed in on the left side instead of doing that long snorkel. We had loads of air left because the dive was mostly 25-30 feet deep. I thought of Tina's dreams where she sees her dead husband's apparition underwater, his head bashed in on one side, while I was diving and wondered how that would feel during a dive. Her fear would have been enough to send her screaming to the surface, which is what she does in The Dream Jumper's Promise.
After the dive we ate lunch with Lynn out on the deck, talked politics and health and real estate and then headed off in the car, leaving Lynn and Spencer, the dog back at the house. Eliza went to Kaanapali Beach to get her lean on in the sunshine while I visited Barnes & Noble to say hello and scope out the store. I bought my next book club book BRAIN ON FIRE.
Back at Lynn's she'd gone to work and we rested our eyes for an hour while the bird next door squawked like a dying child but losing consciousness was not happening. I took Spence for his sunset walk at the Hawaiian Burial Grounds and then after primping a bit and putting on our Love and Mangoes jewelry, Eliza and I took off for a seaside dinner of fish and salad at Maala Tavern. Wonderful and lovely and met some interesting people who sat next to us. The food was marginal and the waiter forgot to put dressing on the salad, forgot my glass of wine and after checking to see we weren't wearing invisibility cloaks, concluded that it was a busy night for him. The ambiance was top-notch.
Bed at 11 after talking with Lynn when she arrived home from her cocktailing job. I'm reading Toby Neal's SCORCHED and loving it!!! Great read for Maui.
Today is my book signing deal at B &N and I'm wondering how it will all go down. Not the usual speaking engagement it seems but more of a meet & greet.

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kim Goes to Maui

Yesterday I talked non-stop from 7 AM to noon. I paused to see if my traveling companion wanted to add anything and occasionally she did say a bit, only to have me launch another stream of conscious thought her way. I was excited, you see.
I haven't been to Maui in awhile and it is my happy place. My kuleana as they say here to mean it's my thing. I lived on Maui for over a decade in the eighties and nineties and couldn't wait to touch my flip flops to that red sand dirt again.
Here's my first day in a nutshell, point form because, hey, I'm on Maui and I need to get out there and go scuba diving!

Day One:

-Joined the long line of tourist rental cars at the airport and headed for Lahaina
-Saw Humpback Whales blow off Olowalu
-Bought essentials at Lahaina Safeway like Kona coffee $3.99 a bag! and brie and rice crackers, olives and papayas
-Also bought choc covered mac nuts for my event at Barnes & Noble Saturday
-Drove north to Lynn's where she'd gone to work but her dog greeted us with growls (he never remembers me)

-Fed the dog, Spencer, chicken, while we gorged on pupu's/appetizers on the deck and soaked up some Maui sunshine
-Ended up at Kapalua Bay to swim while Eliza snorkeled and saw her first octopus-she was thrilled!
-Went back to Lynn's, got Spencer, walked him on the golf course near the Ritz after sunset and pointed out The Ridge and Ironwood Beach to Eliza who just finished reading Girl of his Dream.
-Donned our Love and Mangoes jewelry and drove to Kaanapali Beach Hotel to say hi to Lynn at the
Tikki Bar and ate a scrumptious pizza of pesto and veggies while nursing a Mai Tai
-Took Spencer on a walk throught the KBH grounds to sneak a peak at his cocktail waitress Mama at work, Of course he howled and all bar patrons looked over but that's ok, Lynn's worked there for 25 years and everyone knows she's cuckoo for her dog.

-Bed at 11 Maui time. Happily exhausted...

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.