The Fangirl Series: History and Archives

The blog posts below outline some of the stuff that went on with The Fangirl Series in the early days. (You may or may not know--and may or may not care--that I had a publisher when ALL ACCESS first released. And if you didn't know, well, now you do!) Some of the info in the posts is now outdated, but I wanted to leave them here as a nostalgic little reference because I'm a total sap and those are my babies. (And also because people are curious/nosy. I get it. I am, too.) ;-)

I should go through the posts and remove all the links, but at this point, I'd rather work on new content than spend a bunch of time messing around with old stuff, so just know that if you paw through because curiosity got the better of you, the links are probably not going to be valid. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyhoo, I won't be updating this section anymore, so this is just a static little space. It may go away at some point, but ... not yet!

 

Big Announcement: What's Next for The Fangirl Series

So. Plot twists. They're cool (and necessary) in books, but in real life, they can be, well, a little less welcome.

Case in point: When my publisher emailed last week to say that she'd made the heartbreaking decision to close her publishing company.

That's right, the publisher that helped turn my dream into a real Book Baby wasn't going to be able to do that for Book Two, Three, or any of the other books/stories in the Fangirl series and beyond.

Devastating, right? What's more, ALL ACCESS, my tiny three-month-old infant Book Baby, was going to be taken down (as in, no one could buy it ... anywhere!), and all rights would revert back to me. Taken down! After all that hard work, it was just going to disappear as though it never even existed. Waaaaaah!

Of course, I did not expect this one bit. My publisher has been a dream to work with. Dedicated, enthusiastic, and a true friend. But life happens and instead of falling to pieces like I could have, I strapped my lady balls back on and explored my options.

Option 1 - Let It Go (Also known as Option HELL NO)

I COULD just let ALL ACCESS fade into the sunset and say, "Eff this crazy-a$$ industry. I've had enough!" But if you know me and you know how much I want this author career, you'll know this was never, ever an option for me. So, on to Option 2.

Option 2 - Find Another Publisher

There are other indie publishers out there with very strong sales records and an exceptional editorial staff that accept previously-published books or that pick up series where a former publisher left off. Another author I know took this route when her publisher closed several months ago and she's got a solid deal and a bright future with a new press.

I definitely considered this option ... for about a day. Why? Because ALL ACCESS is only three months old. It's just gaining traction. Even so, it already has 51 Amazon reviews, pretty rad sales, and a 4.9/5 star rating. Readers (fans!) are looking forward to Book Two. If I tried to place The Fangirl Series with another publisher, that would take months and months. Probably two months or so to even get an offer to publish (that's assuming I'd *get* another offer), then weeks or months to go through their editing process, possibly (probably) a new cover, a re-release, etc. A timeline like that would FOR SURE put Book Two way, way behind AND I'd probably lose all of my Amazon reviews. No thanks! I spent way too much time bugging you all for those reviews to let them just go away. *wink* So, Option 2 was not the right option for this project, either. Onward.

Option 3 - Self-Publish

Ah, yes. Self-publishing. The phrase that seems to have gotten a lot of stigma ever since the Amazon revolution made it possible for anyone with a pulse to publish. But what you don't often hear, unless you're in the industry, is how viable of a career path self-publishing is. I could go on and on (and probably will in a future post), but when an author self-publishes their books, they have complete control over things like pricing, promotions, cover design, release schedule, and more. Plus, we don't have to share our earnings with anyone (except Uncle Sam. ha!). The drawback, of course, is that all production expenses are on you (professional editing, cover design, formatting, etc). All marketing is yours. EVERYTHING gets handled by you (or you hire it out). Some authors want nothing to do with that. They just want to write. I happen to have a hardcore entrepreneurial spirit and LOVE the business and marketing side of things. Doing all the "other stuff" is just as fun as the writing itself (well, almost). Ergo, I always had self-publishing in mind as a "maybe someday" option for future projects, but I guess the Universe is more in the "How 'bout NOW?" camp. And I'm actually really, really cool with that. In my mind, I see self-publishing as a way to build a beautiful empire. So I will.

Not to mention, if I self-publish, ALL ACCESS will come down from Amazon on September 30 via my publisher, but I can put it right back up on October 1 on my own. (And that's the plan as of this writing.) No loss of reviews, no waiting time, very little interruption, if any. Plus, Book Two can stay on schedule. Hooray!

So ... there you have it. The Fangirl Series WILL still be published as planned, even though a big, fat plot twist shook things up a little. But I love this series and this career way too much to let this train lose even the slightest bit of steam. Plus, Niles and Kallie would be PISSED if I left them hanging, amiright? ;-)

I'm so thankful to Marching Ink and Samantha March for giving The Fangirl Series a fantastic start. But it's time for me to grab the reins myself now and see how far I can take this. I'd appreciate your continued support SO MUCH and I thank you for every single thing you've done for me so far. Every Facebook like, picture, or post. Every review. Every private message. Every Goodreads rating. Every everything. Thank you. I love you.

Let's keep this Fangirl Party Bus rolling!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL ACCESS Release Day: It's Finally Here!

So, wow. It's noon here my time and I'm just now sitting down to do this post. You know, the one in which there will be a whole lot of digital squeeeeeeeing? Yeah, that one.

I can hardly believe that Release Day for my debut novel, ALL ACCESS, is finally here. This has been a dream in my heart for a supah dupah long time and now it's a real thing. How f*cking lucky am I? Of course, it's not just luck, right? There has been a lot of grinding that's taken place to get to this point. But I'm here now and my social media pages are blowing up with love from friends, family, bloggers, other authors, and just all-around cool people who are kind enough to give me a virtual high five. This is a WOW! kind of day, for sure.

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So if you landed here by accident and have no idea what the blank I'm talking about - or you just need a little reminder - here's the blurb for ALL ACCESS:

Every fangirl has a fantasy . . . what happens when that “if only” dream comes true?

Though she’s a single mom wedged firmly into thirty-something territory, author Kallie Reagan’s devotion to rock star Niles Russell knows no bounds. To pay homage to her muse, Kallie writes a smokin’ hot novel featuring a hero who looks and acts an awful lot like Niles — and a heroine who may or may not have a smattering of herself thrown in for fun.

When Niles learns about the book and surprise-texts Kallie, the two deliciously complicated creatives become fast friends . . . and so much more. But trying to define a relationship that’s laced with closeted skeletons, half-truths, and constant question marks proves harder than making it big. If they’re going to progress from Fangirl Infatuation to The Real Deal, these two need to give each other All Access to the most important place of all: their hearts.

So ... whaddya think? Fun, right? That's what this book is meant to be. Fun, flirty, easy, breezy ... but with a whole lotta heart. I hope I've achieved that. Early reviews are rolling in and they're outstanding, so that's encouraging. (Can I get a "Yaaaaay!!"?)  I'm particularly in love with this one from fellow authoress, Jennifer Farwell. Hopefully after reading Jenn's review you'll be convinced to give ALL ACCESS a try, too. I sure as hell was, and I wrote the dang thing. ;-)

(Note: ALL ACCESS is the first book in my Fangirl Series. So yes, there is more to come!)

Because I'm all about making life easy for peeps, here's a quick rundown of everywhere ALL ACCESS is available.

ALL ACCESS on Amazon

ALL ACCESS on Barnes & Noble

ALL ACCESS on iBooks

ALL ACCESS on Kobo

Okay, enough yapping for now! I'll be back. Oh yes, I will. But for now, I'm going back to my social media pages and partying like it's 1999 - or something equally as cool. Like becoming a published author!!!!!

Thanks for sharing this huge milestone with me!!

 

 

I'm About to Become a Published Author: Here's What I'm Thinking Right Now

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I'm about to become a published author. Decades of dreaming are about to come true. Two years of passion, dedication, obsession, perseverance, sleep deprivation, and sacrifice have gone into this thing: ALL ACCESS, my debut novel. The book that real, live people can hold in their hot little hands, any old time they choose. Whoa.

So, what am I feeling, you might wonder? Well, lots of things. But, essentially, these "lots of things" can be broken down into two categories:

Category 1: God, I'm Nervous (Also called, "Holy sh*t, what am I signing myself up for?" and "I am truly f*cking crazy.")

Category 2: This is a Dream Come True (Also known as "Squeeeee!" and "Pop the goddamn champagne, already!")

Deep Thoughts, By Liberty Kontranowski

Because I am a writer and I process a lot of my mind-seizing thoughts by, well, writing, I'mma just elaborate a little here. A brain dump, if you will. Because this is kind of a big thing and if I don't get these thoughts out, the world might catch on fire or something. And I do not want to be held responsible for something horrible like that. So, here we go:

God, I'm Nervous

Well, yeah. Like I said, two years (plus about a year of "thinking about it") went into this novel. So I worked really hard on it, right? And now ... now I'm sending it out into the world. For people to judge.

Nothing scary about that at allllll. #sarcasm

I get that not all Creatives are shy about putting their stuff out there, but dang. You guys are going to get a peek into my mind. (Assuming you read it ... you are going to read it, right?) You're going to chew on my words and meet my characters and travel with them on their journeys. (That's the cool part.)

But you might also critique the hell out of my sentence structure. My word choice. My "voice." I am a very character-driven writer and in order to stay true to my vision for these guys, they ended up talking much like I do. (Well, like I do when the kids aren't around. Heh.) Some of you will love that, some of you will hate it.

You might be offended by my many swears. Think my characters are behaving in ways you don't want them to. You might think there are too many smexy times; you might think there aren't enough. You might expect this to be very prose-y and literary, when in fact it's breezy and fun. You might hate first person, present tense. You might think my dialogue is dumb. You might want my hero to have blonde hair, but he doesn't. His is brown.

You might love it and write glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and you might tell all of your friends to buy a copy, too.

And you might not.

See? Scary, right?

It's tough putting yourself on the line like this. I know there will be "meh" or even "blech" reviews. That comes with the territory. Can't please everyone, after all. But knowing that doesn't make it any easier. It just gives me more things to obsess and worry over. ;-)

This is a Dream Come True

So, this. This is where it's at. A DREAM COME TRUE. Because, damn it, it IS a dream come true. This is huge. Huger than huge. I wanted to write this story and I wrote it. From Word 1 all the way through Word 82,000+. I told everyone who would listen that this - writing - is my thing. I told people I would get this published and I did. I had to go around a few obstacles to make it happen, but I did it. I wrote the thing, edited the hell out of it, found some people who loved it as much as I did, got a publishing contract, and BAM! It's happening.

I've had people leave me comments and send me messages, telling me that I've inspired them - inspired them to write a book of their own or to follow their dreams or to sell their artwork or start their own business or to build their own empire. Can you say "Verklempt"?! And the support you all have given me on my Facebook page? Unreal! It's seriously been amazing.

A motherfucking dream come true.

I'm humbled. I'm inspired (by you! Thank you!), and I am beyond grateful. My publisher is a dream to work with, the author community is super rad, and I just know this is the beginning of something so amazing I can hardly contain my excitement. I feel so blessed. That's the BEST part.

So, yeah. Feeling a little bipolar over here. Squeeing my face off one minute, sitting in a dark closet rocking back and forth the next. But that's what happens when you follow a dream. When you put yourself out there. When you punch fear in the face and go for it.

My goal? To take alllllll of these emotions and savor them. Every one of them. Because they are all hard-earned and they will all be a part of my life story. They're a gift. They'll shape me, form me, maybe even change me.

And that's more than I could ever ask for.

 

 

 

So, What's Your Debut Novel, ALL ACCESS, About, Anyway?

The big news has been broken: ALL ACCESS, my debut novel and the first book in my Fangirl Series, is releasing on June 22, 2016! (The print version will be available in July.) June 22, by the way, just happens to be THREE DAYS BEFORE MY 40TH BIRTHDAY! Can you believe that? Way to send my 30s out with a bang, hey? (My publisher had no knowledge of this when the release date was set. It was total, total fate/divine intervention/synchronicity, etc.!)

Okay, so now that the news is out, I can start squawking about it a little more instead of being so evasive. (The publishing industry LOVES secrets!) The best way I can think to do this is to just run through some of the biggest questions I've gotten over the past few months and see if they touch on what you're wondering. Ready? Here we go!

What's the book about?

A fangirl's biggest fantasy, realized. :-) We ALL have someone we fangirl over, right? This is the story of what happens when one fangirl's dream comes true ... warts and all.

Read the entire blurb on Amazon.

Is this A ROMANCE? *Question-asker either blushes wildly or gets reallllly giddy when asking this question*

So, here's what we're calling this: Romantic Women's Fiction. Why? Because there are some distinct differences between what I write and traditional romances. Romances tend to be formulaic, they're usually in third person (she said, he asked), and they're often (but not always) past tense.

ALL ACCESS, on the other hand, is written in first person, present tense (I say, I ask). It's also written from one character's point of view (POV). It has a breezy voice, plenty of NC-17 language (what? I'm part sailor. Sue me.), and some smexy times, but nothing compared to many of the romances out there.

Bottom line? There is definitely a love story at the core of this book, but it's not written like a traditional romance. Does that help? ;-)

Is this the next Fifty Shades?

Um, hail nah.

Look, peeps. I get the fascination with Fifty, I really do. But if you're looking for another story like that, I'm not your author.

Like I said above, there is definitely some steam between my pages. (Oh yes, there is.) But it's not Fifty Shades sexy. At all. Also? I'm a Cancer, right, so I'm kind of mushy. Therefore, there is a sweetness to my love stories. They're not all just about physicality. I very much explore the emotional side of things and that, to me, makes for a nice, layered story with plenty of depth and solid characterization.

To Jim (my husband): What's Liberty's book about?
Jim: Uhhhhh.

So, no, peeps, my husband has NOT read this book. He has asked to read at least the first chapter and I have yet to send it to him. Why? I dunno. I guess when you're a Creative, you sometimes hold very tightly to the things you create until you're finally ready to let them go. I guess I totally experienced that with this story. Also? He's not exactly my target market. ;-)

Edited to add: I emailed him Chapter One this morning. He hasn't even looked at it yet. So, yeah.

Is this going to become an insta-classic or be shortlisted for some huge literary prize?

Again with the NOPE. ALL ACCESS was written for one purpose and one purpose only: to entertain. That's it. I'm not trying to teach anyone anything or make some huge political statement or even convince you that you should try to take up with your own Fangirl obsession. I just want you to lose yourself in these pages - with Niles and Kallie - for a few hours. And when you're done, hopefully you'll be entertained enough to come back to your own life a little refreshed. And maybe tell a few friends where you "went" for a little while. ;-) #fantasyworldsforthewin

Are there more stories in your pipeline?

Ohhhhh, yes! I am a writer, to my core. Even if I never published a single thing, I'd still write. I love it. It's my "thing." And oftentimes, it's my therapy. So yes, you can definitely expect to see more from me.

As you'll notice on the cover, ALL ACCESS is actually the first book in my Fangirl Series. That means you can expect to see these characters and/or themes again in future books.

Right now, I have a Christmas-themed novella (novella = about half the length of a full novel) already written and ready for my editor. That should be released in November. I'm also a quarter of the way through Book Two in this series, and it's due August 1st. (Eeeep! Get writing, Lib!!!)

I also have a wicked-awesome idea for a Middle Grade series for girls, a super fun and nostalgic Young Adult novel idea, and a Women's Fiction story brewing that will be very hard to write, but would turn out so beautifully once I'm ready to "go there."

Plus, this blog. So yeah. These fingers will be a-flyin.

Okay, that's enough for today. Did I miss anything? Please give me a shout if you have any questions for me. I'd love to answer them for the masses.

Thanks for reading. Now go Pre-Order ALL ACCESS nooooooowww! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Debut Novel | Cover and Title Reveal + Release Date Announcement

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Gah! You guys! Here it is! The gorgeous cover of my debut novel, ALL ACCESS, releasing June 22, 2016, from Marching Ink!

I seriously can't believe it's finally time to show you my baby. For decades, being a published author has been a dream. For two years, this book has been in the works. And now it's here. (Well, almost. The PRE-ORDER is here. The RELEASE DATE is still a few weeks away.)

I am so thrilled with this cover. I had a pretty distinct vision for it and our cover designer did a fabulous job bringing it to life. And my publisher has been a dream to work with as well. I am a lucky, lucky girl!

So here are a few links if you're ready to hop on the FANGIRL train with me. And feel free to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!

Thank YOU, as always, for all of your support. Much, much, MUCH love!!!

Pre-Order on Amazon (Pre-Order now and it will magically appear on your Kindle (or other device) on June 22. The print book releases in July.)
My Amazon Author Page (Hey, look. I'm legit!)
My Facebook Author Page (I'm partying like it's 1999 over there. Join me!)
My Instagram Page (Trying to step up my IG game. Follow me!)

 

Debut Novel | Q & A

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So, on February 15, 2016, the ink was dry on my contract, and I was finally able to tell the world that I was going to be a published author! That Bucket List Item Numero Uno had been slayed and that a beautiful editor at Marching Ink thought my book was groovy enough to put some money behind. Good stuff, right? YES! Yes, it is!

With that announcement came A LOT of questions from friends, acquaintances, and future readers. So instead of answering each person individually, I figured it would make sense to tackle this all Q & A style. So if you want to know more about my debut novel, how I got here, and what's coming next, read on. And if you don't? Well, carry on. I'll look the other way while you leave.

Q: What is the title?

A: Um, I don't know yet. No, really. I don't. See, I had chosen THE PERFECT TITLE for this book, but as I was writing it, a big-name author came out with a book with the SAME DANG TITLE. And that book ended up being a pretty big deal. So, instead of trying to compete with that other book or look like I'm trying to ride on its coattails, I'm going to rename mine. But for the record, it should have been MINE! #notbitter #atall

Q: What type of book is it?

A: You can categorize it as Romantic Comedy, Women's Fiction, or Romantic Women's Fiction (think Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, etc.). Whatever you want to call it is cool with me. Is it Fifty Shades-ish? Nope, nope, and nope! Is it a literary masterpiece? Also nope. Is it a fun, flirty 300-ish pages of escapism that is perfect for the beach or bath or wherever? YESSSSS!

Q: When will it be released?

A: At this point, it's looking like late Spring 2016, but I'll keep you posted.

Q: Where can I buy it?

A: At whichever online retailer tickles your fancy. Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc. I'll have pre-order links when they're available and regular links once the book is officially released.

Q: Can I get it at Barnes & Noble or Target?

A. No, you can't. It is very difficult to get a book placed in a retail operation like that unless you're an established author or you're being published by one of The Big Five. Even then, placement is not guaranteed. The publishing world is changing rapidly, and quite frankly, my focus at this point is having my book available to readers indefinitely, rather than pining for shelf space that will be snatched away after a relatively short period of time.

Q: What's going on with the book right now? aka: Why isn't it out yet?

A: Right now, it's being reviewed by my editor. She offered me a contract because she loved the story and sees its potential. But now it's time to take it to the next level. I've asked her to push me, so that it becomes the absolute best story it can be. So now she's looking at it with her "editor" hat on, and she'll point out any places she thinks we could make improvements. That could mean anything from beefing up scenes to toning some down to removing some altogether. It could mean tweaking characterization (e.g., "She is being SO WHINY in this scene. Stahp it!") or questioning where the hell I was going with something because whatever I'd intended wasn't carrying through. She'll watch for word repetition (I've already found some, so surely there's more), weird turns of phrases, or whatever else makes the book less than amazing.

From there, I'll take the book back and make all the changes. Then, my editor gets it back again, reviews the changes, and if everything meets her approval, the book goes off to the proofreader and copyeditor. These are the people who find any grammar and punctuation issues, are super in tune with consistency ("Why were they eating tacos on this page, but burritos on the next?") and so on. While those other folks are on "word duty," my editor and I will conceptualize a cover design (I get input on this which is SO YAY!!). We'll also work on the blurb and start pre-marketing activities.

After allllll that, the file (which is still just a 300+-page Word document), will go to layout where someone super talented will make it look like an actual book. We'll add the cover, the blurb, and, one of my favorites, the Acknowledgments page. THEN, a book will be born. So see why this takes SO. LONG?!

Q: What's the book about?

A. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this ... #hellobeachhouse

I'm going to keep this very simple, because eventually I'll be releasing the blurb (the descriptive paragraph on the back of the book that lures readers in). And I'm planning on teasing one-liners, dialogue chunks, and mini-scenes on my Facebook page and here on the blog. So you'll definitely get to learn all about the story soon enough.

But for now, I'll just say this ...

It's about a girl/lady/whatever who dreams big, has the balls to pursue those dreams, and then realizes a dream bigger than she'd ever intended. We'll get to see all the fun that entails, and all the challenges, too. Because every book needs a little tension, right? (And also? #becarefulwhatyouwishfor)

So that's it in a nutshell. But with a little smoochy-smooch thrown in for good measure. :-)

Q: What are you working on now?

A: These characters are pretty dear to me, so I've already written a short installment (called a novella) that checks back in with them a few months later. I also have ideas for other related stories that will use some character carryover, so it's safe to assume this will be Book One in a series. As an author, series are fun because we get to hang out with our beloved characters a little longer ... and readers love series too, mostly for the same reason. :-)

So I think I've answered all the burning questions I've had thrown at me so far. Do you have any others? Fire away! Just send me an email at liberty (dot) kontranowski (at) gmail (dot) com or ask me through the Contact Form on this site.

Thanks for reading this loooooong message. Can't wait to share more details soon.