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Posted in Amy Miles Books

Author burnout is a VERY real thing…

To-Do List Everything Dry Erase Board Overworked StressAuthor burnout is a real thing when you allow your focus to shift…
When I first started out writing 5 years ago I could pump out words like nobody’s business. 10k per day was normal for me. 5k a day meant that I was slacking by being on social media, which I’ll admit did happen more than it should have.
Fast forward to today and if I can finish a chapter per day I feel like I deserve a cupcake in celebration. My brain has hurt for almost a year now. Deadlines, writing things that weren’t for me, health issues and stress damaged my love of crafting stories. Writing became work instead of a passion and I hated that. I hated it so much that for a time I considered giving up one of the things I love most in life and just walk away from it all. That was a devastating feeling for me because writing is a part of who I am. It is not a want but a need, an outpouring of my soul that has to happen, but over time I began to feel damaged.
I was tired of the pressure, of the drama and backstabbing that I have watched in the indie woman in office with burnoutworld, both in person and on social media. I was emotionally drained from the black listing, the bullying, and the downright nastiness. There is an ugliness among many authors who feel like they have to compete with each other instead of building each other up. These actions hurt my heart and made it hard to love what it is that I do because I no longer took pride in it. I no longer felt like much good was coming from publication. I saw too much greed and malice. Too many divas were being born who treat readers and event volunteers like dirt instead of being grateful for their support.
But then I was reminded during Quinn Loftis‘ keynote speech at Penned Con St. Louis this past year about WHY I wanted to write in the first place. Her words were a breath of fresh air and for the first time I felt a glimmer of peace return. That was back in September and now its only a couple of days until December and I’m just now able to write something that doesn’t feel like complete crap. Once you reach a burnout stage there is no quick fix.
Quinn reminded me that I do not write for praise, for money, or a big fancy title. All I ever wanted to do was make someone smile, to think, or to feel. To express my thoughts, my hopes and dreams in a way that might touch someone’s life in a positive way. To bring hope to someone who feels hopeless, to bring escape for someone trying to avoid life for a little bit, to speak to someone dealing with terrible things, and to bring a sense of inner strength to someone who may not feel strong enough to face the trials in their lives.
My characters never have an easy go of it. I let terrible things happen to them for a reason…to show that struggle isn’t a bad thing. It makes us who we are. It allows us to relate to other people dealing with the same crap. Love isn’t easy and I don’t believe that it is throw away either. I don’t believe in love at first sight or in fairy tale romance. It’s not who I am. I believe in accepting a person for who they are, faults and all, in hard work, in compromise and working through the tough things in life that might tear down other people. I believe that no one will ever believe in you more than you can believe in yourself. I believe in fighting for your dreams no matter how many times you are told you aren’t good enough. In getting back up when you are knocked down. In being a rebel and obliterating the box that people try to confine you in.
These are the things I believe strongly in and write about. These are my WHY I WRITE.
why-i-write
Will I ever hit a USA or NYT bestsellers list? Maybe not but I’m ok with that. Will the indie world ever revert back to how it used to be, when it felt more like one big family where everyone was learning and growing together? Where people helped share things without expecting something in return just because it was the decent thing to do? I really hope so. I hope that there comes a day when authors can publish without fear of blacklisting, or hateful reviews not based on the book itself but a personal slam, and that people will stand up to the nastiness. I hope that it becomes a world of positivity and support once more.
But until then I just want to write what my heart needs to write. If I can make one person smile then that’s good enough for me!
Posted in Amy Miles Books

Looking for a book convention to attend?

Are you looking for a book convention to attend in 2016 that has it all?

Penned Con is in full on prep mode to celebrate our 3rd year this September in St. Louis and we are going bigger and better. We have 150 amazing authors, two-day book signings with ample time to stick around and chat with your favorite authors, fun panels and sessions for readers, workshops for aspiring writers with industry professionals and authors who have been exactly where you are, keynote speakers to inspire you, a fantastic dance party Friday night and a luau dinner/awards party on Saturday to round out the event.

Penned Con is a family-friendly event that welcomes readers of all ages. Come and learn, fan girl and be a part of our efforts to raise money for Action for Autism! With reader and attendee help, over the past two years we have raised over $21,000 for this amazing scholarship and in 2016 we want to continue giving back!

Nerf ClubBUT before the party begins, we have added an extra treat for the whole family. Welcome to the Penned Con 2016’s Nerf Club!  All ticketed attendees are welcome to join us in a full on capture the flag event where teams will be chosen and someone is going down! Bring your own gun and bullets and prepare for battle!

*The Penned Con staff does recommend bringing a form of eye protection with you as bullets have a tendency to strike in less than optimal locations.

REPORT FOR DUTY and join us by grabbing your ticket today to Penned Con 2016.

For more details on all that Penned Con has to offer, check out our website at Penned Con.

Haven’t snagged your ticket to attend yet? Grab yours today here!

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Posted in Amy Miles Books, Penned Con 2016

Success is Beautiful

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be successful. Does that mean making a lot of money, having fast cars, or not wanting for anything? Or does success run deeper?

I’m like most people. I would love to have an easy life, without worries, health issues or debt. Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Several years before starting my writing career, my husband and I decided to take care of the debt issue by being laser focused and making wise decisions to reverse the typical “I’m an adult and I can make my own mistakes” syndrome that far too many teens experience. It wasn’t easy but it was totally worth it.

Next we focused on making a way for both of us to do what we loved. I became a full-time writer and my husband became a PR guru with his company Red Coat PR. We were both working from home, setting our own hours (which happened to be WAY more than what we used to work when we had a boss to report to) and found happiness in owning two businesses. In doing what we loved, we found that our worries diminished because we were in control of our work life for the first time. The effort we put in determined what we got back out of it and we found that we could help people and give back in amazing ways that furthered our love of our new lifestyle.

But there was a third point to that equation that I was still working on: health issues.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a post on Jan 29th about how a few years back I underwent Gastric Sleeve surgery. Details about my reasoning and experience can be found here, but that journey didn’t end with surgery. It is an ongoing process.

I have found after years of reading hundreds of health books, self-help books, chatting with people online and my own personal experiences that health is subjective to your mindset. For some, a number on a scale defines them. For others, it may be fitting into their wedding dress or prom dress many years later. And for others, it’s being able to get out of bed and walk across the room without pain.

Culture, media and peers many times give us a skewed view of what health really means, and in line with that success. This places rules, negativity and a feeling of “I’m not good enough” on people who feel too overwhelmed by the big, terrifying picture to stop and enjoy the baby steps along the path.

Yoga has helped me to focus, to calm my thoughts, to reconnect with my body (in some rather painful ways haha) and to take time for me. Many people, women especially, feel pulled in too many directions. We have children to tend to, household chores that are never ending, carpools, meals to create, husbands to spend time with and a zillion other time sucks that make us sometimes feel like it is wrong to slice off a piece of time just for ourselves but I can tell you that it is CRUCIAL to your health and well-being to do so.

Losing weight is a great goal, but it should be a side effect of what we truly want: the ability to move, to wake up rested and have enough energy to push through all of the day’s demands and to fall asleep each night knowing you can do it all over again the next day.

Health (interchanged with SUCCESS) isn’t about a number on a scale but the ability to LIVE LIFE to the fullest.

So to this I say success is beautiful, no many what shape you are.

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Posted in Amy Miles Books, Health

Give the gift of Hope this Valentine’s Day

In Your EmbracenewSometimes love, healing, and grief go hand in hand. Discover how the actions of three individuals bring long overdue healing to a community in the wake of a terrible hurricane off the Outer Banks. THIS BOOK IS A NEW ADULT/ADULT INSPIRATION NOVEL.

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/smashwordsInYourEmbrace
ibooks: http://bit.ly/InYourEmbraceibooks
Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonInYourEmbrace
Kobo: http://bit.ly/InYourEmbraceKobo
Life has not been kind to Timothy Lewis these past few years. With the sudden loss of his first love and a construction business barely staying afloat during the recession, Timothy will be the first to admit that faith isn’t exactly at the top of his priority list. When a direct hit from a hurricane rocks the Outer Banks, Timothy is forced to face not only the demons of his past but also a potential of a future that leaves him terrified.

Hannah Green has a big heart and that tends to get her in trouble far more than she’d like to admit. After her aunt and uncle offer her free room and board for the summer at their fixer upper bed and breakfast on the beach, Hannah finds herself caught in the mother of all storms. The devastation left in the wake of the hurricane rocks her world, leaving her faith and health in the balance.

Draven Young hates coming back home. There are too many bad memories, too little to do and far too many ex-girlfriends who would like to get their hands on him. When his father forces him to do some community service at the local hospital or risk losing his monthly allowance, Draven will discover that although terrible things happen to good people, there is a reason for everything.

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Posted in Amy Miles Books, Valentine's day

Early Valentine’s Read to get you in the mood for love…

A Love RestoredThis Valentine’s day give that book lover in your life the gift of romance. Nothing says “I love you” more to a bookie than a new read waiting on their e-reader. This tale of one girl’s search for her dreams parallels with one man’s need to be accepted just the way he is. THIS IS A FADE TO BLACK NOVEL SUITABLE FOR MATURE TEENS TO ADULT.

Sometimes you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else…

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ALoveRestorediBooks
B&N: http://bit.ly/AoveRestoredNook
Amazon: http://amzn.to/170Qz4r
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ALoveRestoredKobo

A LOVE RESTORED:

A woman who spends her life on the sidelines.
A man desperate to discover his true worth.
A woman who seeks love in all the wrong places.

Ashlyn Doyle has spent her life trying to blend in. A sweet wallflower by nature, she is unaccustomed to the spot light, but as the personal assistant to a bestselling romance author with a drive to enjoy life to its fullest, she throws herself into her work. With a hectic touring schedule to maintain, a party animal boss to keep in line and the task of discovering the perfect eye candy to grace the cover of Ender’s Betrayal, Ashlyn is in for more than she bargained for.

Determined to make his mark on the world, Slade Collins leaps at the opportunity to audition as cover model for Tamsin Archer’s newest novel. Tales of Tamsin’s wild parties, affinity for hot men and the wild success that has sky rocketed every former model to fame leads Slade to use his sly smile and British accent to quickly attract the attention of both Tamsin and her shy assistant. But the faster Slade moves toward the dream he so desperately desires, the more he begins to realize fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Tamsin Archer loves to party, drink to excess and enjoy every drop of success her name has afforded her. With Ashlyn’s firm grip on the reigns of their five city tour, Tamsin soon settles in to the task of bedding her newest cover model, Slade Collins but soon discovers that all the drunken hookups and empty wine bottles in the world can’t fill the void that she feels.

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Posted in Amy Miles Books, Valentine's day