I’m thrilled to announce that the revised Steel Goddesses novel is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. The revised novel includes more details, as well as a back story for one of the main characters. You may understand her motivations a little more, and some of you may also identify with her. I know I did, although I chose to “act out” in a different way.

Here are links:

STEEL GODDESSES NOVEL – AMAZON PAPERBACK

STEEL GODDESSES NOVEL – KINDLE

STEEL GODDESSES – BARNES & NOBLE PAPERBACK

 

I’d love your reviews, on Amazon and here.

Thanks so much! xo

new-front-cover

I’m sitting alone in my office, Iron Maiden blasting from my phone, courtesy of Spotify. My arms are aching, and with good reason. I’ve spent the past 20 hours engaged in a marathon of writing, editing, and formatting the revised edition of Steel Goddesses. There’s also a new cover (see below).

Several people have asked why I rewrote SG, instead of working on the long-awaited sequel. I have several answers:

1. I know much more about formatting a manuscript than I did in 2009.

2. Self-publishing sites have become more user-friendly, making it easier to publish a book that looks and feels professional.

3. The director of the a film project tied to Steel Goddesses told me the main character needed a back story. He also suggested the novel be republished with a 2016 copyright, to make it more timely. I took both of his suggestions to heart, and added a back story for the main character. Revising the original also gave me the opportunity to correct some mistakes, rewrite some scenes, and undertake a more thorough edit than last time.

I finished the final edits this afternoon and submitted the novel and cover art for review.

Now, I sit here, my head buzzing with anticipation and anxiety. I’m excited about Steel Goddesses’ re-release. I’m also terrified that people will hate it. I know this is a common feeling for the majority of creative people out there. We’re a very sensitive bunch.

When I published the first incarnation of SG in 2009, I was afraid to promote it. Afraid people would hate it. Truth be told, a part of me hated it. Okay, I didn’t really “hate” it, but I was embarrassed by what I had written and didn’t want to claim it as my own. I created the Ann Brandt alter ego and published under her name. I sold maybe a thousand copies (not too shabby), but didn’t promote it. Every time someone emailed or told me they had read it, I wanted to hide my face. I hated Steel Goddesses, and when a male co-worker told me he’d read it, I realized why I hated it. Although my co-worker didn’t make any sly remarks, I was afraid everyone who read the book would think I have a dirty mind. Or worse, I’d done all the things I describe. So, I ignored the novel, and it languished.

The movie project placed Steel Goddesses front and center in my life again. When the director said he wanted a back story for Toni, as well as a 2016 copyright, I knew I had to put my embarrassment behind me and dive back into the world I’d created nearly a decade ago.

So, I held my breath and dove in.

And fell in love again with Toni, Kris, Rusty and the gang. Felt my heart flutter over Marty again. Recoiled at the sleazy antics of Marius Man. Cried over some of the challenges my characters faced. As I made the final edits this morning, I realized I was happy. And proud. I’m anxious, too, but I that’s to be expected. I’m putting the fruits of my imagination out into the world, for better or worse.

This time, however, I won’t shy away from readers who want to discuss Steel Goddesses. I won’t care what they think about what I may or may not have done in my youth, or how much of the novel is based on actual events. Steel Goddesses is my creation, my baby, and I will love and nurture it, and show it proudly to the world. I know there are people who won’t like it, and that’s fine. Our differences make the world go round.

As I sit here in my office, listening to Iron Maiden blasting from my phone, I’m content. And excited to start writing Book 2 of the Steel Goddesses trilogy. Because the girls are clamoring to be heard, and I’m finally ready to listen again.

new-cover

The 80’s have come and gone, but metal bands keep on keepin’ on! 

“Classic” metal bands touring in 2015:

Aerosmith

Anvil

Bang Tango

Bret Michaels

Bullet Boys

Cinderella

Cinderella in the 1980s.

Def Leppard, Poison & Cheap Trick

Dokken

Enuff Z’Nuff

Europe

George Lynch

GEORGE LYNCH

Stephen Pearcy

Tom Keifer

KISS

KIX

Motley Crue

Pretty Boy Floyd

Pretty Maids

Ratt

Sebastian Bach

TNT

TNT BAND

Warrant

W.A.S.P.

White Lion

Whitesnake

Winger

WINGER

It’s Friday and for many of us, this day symbolizes closing out another week of 40+ hour days, countless meetings, lunches on the run and the stress that surrounds earning a paycheck. Some of you may actually ENJOY your day job, but still look forward to a two-day respite, to garden, run errands, lunch, laze, etc.

I understand.

I count myself among those who have a love/hate relationship with my day job. I love it most of the time, but it’s not perfect. Meh, when you stop and think about it, what is perfect?

For me, weekends are made for bringing daydreams to life, and no red-blooded woman (or man, for that matter) would have a daydream that didn’t include some type of eye candy. My daydreams happen to be stuck in the 80’s, where long hair, leather and spandex ruled the night, with squealing guitars and double bass-driven beats providing the soundtrack.

What? You haven’t thought about those days in ages?  Let me help take you back in time. How many of these lads and lasses do you remember? Who did YOU lust after in your youth (or even now)??

80’s METAL HUNKS

JOE PERRY

WARREN DEMARTINI

GEORGE LYNCH

glenn danzig

STEVEN TYLER

peter steele

STEVE HARRIS

BRUCE DICKINSON TANK TOP

 

80’s METAL BABES

doro pesch

vixen

bobbi browne

lita ford

tawny kitaen

vixen

It’s been quite a while since my last entry, but as I haven’t really been publicizing this website or my social media, for that matter, I doubt many people have missed the drought here at SG. Truth is, I’ve had writer’s block since last March. Recently, I had the honor of chatting with a number of wildly successful authors who told me the same thing: JUST WRITE. It doesn’t matter what you write, just get in the practice of writing and the dam holding your creativity hostage will begin cracking, then crumble away, unleashing a flood of ideas and WHAM! you’ll be back in business before you know it. Hearing this has been very encouraging. I know I’m not the first writer to fall victim to writer’s block and I most definitely will not be the last. In another blogpost here, I tried to rationalize my writer’s block, citing research and resources. Looking back at that, I realize just how much hogwash went into that post. I wasn’t trying to unblock anything – I was trying to “rationalize” my writer’s block and in essence, giving it permission to remain lodged firmly in my brain, preventing access to all but the most basic of thoughts (pee, eat, go to work, do laundry, etc.)

So, what am I doing now? Am I writing another post to explain away my inability to string words together into coherent sentences, develop characters for a novel that’s been patiently waiting to be written since 2009, when the first “Steel Goddesses” novel came out? I’d like to say “no.” I’d like to say I’m taking the advice of those wildly successful authors who encouraged me to JUST WRITE. I’m JUST WRITING. I’m getting on a bicycle that’s been lying propped up against the side of the house since last March, a little rusty, squeaking as the wheels turn, the chain clinking as I pedal, dangerously close to slipping off, but not. just. yet.  I’m pedaling. Slowly, but still pedaling, my knees creaking and popping; the bike wobbling beneath me as I struggle to find my balance. The “mom” portion of my brain has a hand up to her mouth, watching me nervously wobble down the sidewalk. “Don’t you think we should put the training wheels back on?” she calls, trying to keep her voice calm. “At least, just until you’ve regained your balance?”

I pretend not to hear her, and slowly continue pedaling.

Hopefully, I’ll be speeding down the sidewalk soon.

 

GIRL ON A BIKE

 

WHAT I LISTENED TO AS I WROTE THIS:

  1. Under the Milky Way” – The Church
  2. Open Letter to NYC” – Beastie Boys
  3. Blank Generation” – Richard Hell & the Voidoids
  4. A Rose Alone” – Mr. Big
  5. Future Days” – Pearl Jam
  6. Metal Thrashing Mad” – Anthrax

 

 

 

I have to hand it to self-published authors who manage to work full-time jobs, raise families and carve out time to promote their books. When I ask them how they do it, the answer is simple: “I make time because I want to succeed.” The authors of whom I speak have demanding jobs and one has a demanding family on top of the demanding job. And yet, I see her posting blog stories, interviews and book signing events that she set up herself (she has no budget to hire a publicist). I sit back and watch in awe as she does whatever it takes to make her dream come true, wishing I could do the same while mentally listing the reasons it’s just not possible for me to do what she’s doing.

I was able to coast along like this for a while (months, actually), deluding myself that my job is way to demanding and home life is even MORE demanding (if you can believe it!). I mean, I’m so busy, I barely have time to breathe!

Then, a friend came along an called: BULLSHIT on my well-thought out reasons…. okay, excuses for not moving forward with STEEL GODDESSES and even worse, not motivating myself to finish writing SG2.

“You’re NOT allowed to sit and whine about how you wish SG was selling better, or how you wish you had the time to work on SG2,” she said in a calm but “take no prisoners” voice. “You have friends who can teach you how to write a press release, or write one for you in exchange for lunch, dinner or a night out. The time you spend mindlessly tweeting and Facebooking – use that time to WRITE. Carve out time, put it in the calendar and treat it like a job.”

“But…” I protested (okay, I whined). “Turning writing into a job will make it feel like a.. JOB.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you want this to be your job – using your incredible imagination to crank out novels that millions of readers will enjoy?”

Okay, she got me there. I do want to write full-time and have millions of readers enjoy the fruits of my imagination. I do want more people to discover Toni, Rusty and the rest of the girls in STEEL GODDESSES. I want them to WANT to wait impatiently for SG2, emailing me every day asking when it will be published (“Are we THERE yet?”). I want them to share their own daydreams on this website or even better, share their experiences (keep it PG-13, please) or close encounters with rock stars (or other stars).  I want all these things, and more.

However, if I’m completely honest, the biggest obstacle to promoting STEEL GODDESSES and writing SG2 hasn’t been lack of time or motivation; it’s been my ambivalence and, for lack of a better word, embarrassment over the book. If you know me at all, you know how much of a prude I am. To have written something as saucy as SG is completely out of character. Okay, SG isn’t as blatantly “in your face” as some of the other books out there masquerading as “romance” (when did they get so graphic?), but I’ve had a hard time separating Ann Brandt from who I really am: a somewhat prudish television talk show producer and longtime broadcast journalist, wife and mother.

On the other hand, I love Toni, Rusty, Kris and even Marius Mann. I love their stories and how they sprang from my head, fully-formed, not unlike Athena, fierce and ready to take on the world (and each other) to achieve their dreams. And I want you to love them, too.

So, how do I achieve this? Here’s my plan:

Social media: I’m working to carve out a schedule to tweet and Facebook as Steel Goddesses. My alter-ego’s Twitter account has more than 3,200 followers (including LL Cool J!). SG’s Twitter account has 527 (thanks to each and every one of you! I love you!) BTW, the Twitter handle is @Steel_Goddesses. My Facebook page is: Steel Goddesses Fans.

Marketing: I’m accepting a friend’s kind offer to help me craft a press release I can send to rock radio stations, magazines and websites with followers who might enjoy a trip to the 80’s metal scene in NYC, where spandex was rampant and groupies abundant.

Writing: Everyone who’s read SG *is* clamoring for SG2, so I’m scheduling time to write. Even if I end up having to edit and re-edit, it’s easier to edit when you have words, right? Blank pages need no editing.

Other stuff: I’ve been toying with the idea of offering SG coffee mugs and such. I know, it’s really not necessary, but take a look at the photo and tell me you don’t want to sip your coffee from one of these babies… (on second thought, don’t tell me. Just go along with it).

NEW MUG

The MAIN thing is to keep SG out there and keep writing, because more characters are taking up space in my brain and I need to free them.

Let me know how YOU manage to juggle so many projects at once!

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I’ve been suffering from a case of “writer’s block” for a while now. Aside from the scripts I write for my day job as a TV talk show producer, everything else I’ve tried to write has come out jumbled, boring and not worded very well. I’ve started and re-started writing “SG2” a number of times over the past two years with the same result: DELETE DELETE DELETE (spoken in my brain in the robotic voices of those lovable Daleks from “Dr. Who.”).

It’s not my writing space. I have a nice office with a comfortable chair, nice desk, a soft glow lamp and plenty of candles and music.

It’s not my laptop. It’s still working very well, albeit a little blippy since I upgraded to Windows 8.1. Plus, who needs Windows 8.1 to write a novel? All I need is Word and I have it, linked to my task bar for easy access.

It’s not a lack of time. I’ve been able to sit in my office for at least an hour each evening, staring at my cursor blinking on a pristine Word document, ready to bring my characters and scenery to life.

It’s not a lack of imagination. I come up with awesome scenarios and dialogues all the time. Unfortunately, my brain goes blank as soon as I sit down at my laptop to expand on said scenarios and dialogues. My brain just doesn’t want to cooperate, no matter how I tempt it. I’ve created awesome playlists on my Zune. I burn candles. I pour a cup of hot coffee to kickstart the synapses. And yet… all I’m left with at the end of a writing “session” is a blank Word document, accompanied by that damn blinking cursor, although I’ve managed to write several Facebook and Twitter posts, catch up with friends’ Facebook and Twitter posts, read the latest gossip on TMZ and play five straight games of Free Cell on my phone.

And then it hit me.

For 20+ years, I’ve worked in an industry that’s driven by deadlines and breaking news. I thrive under pressure, churning out news copy without even thinking about it. When I wrote “Steel Goddesses,” I gave myself a deadline – an hour a day before going to work. I churned it out, chapter by chapter, revision by revision.  I have no such deadline with SG2, or at least, I can’t seem to stick to one. Working on SG2 seems almost trivial, to be focused on only after scripts are written for the next day’s show, dinner has been prepared and served, dishes have been cleared and washed. Late in the evening, when my brain is tired and wants to chillax, not churn out scenarios and dialogues. My day job was getting the fresh brain. My dream job was getting screwed.

Last week, as I was clearing out an overcrowded email inbox, I noticed several emails reminding me that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was kicking off on November 1. Maybe THIS is what I need to jump start my writing and get the creative juices flowing again. In a burst of energy, I signed up and counted down the days until November 1.

Confession time: On November 1, I wrote 0 words. 0 as zero. zip. nada. But on Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3, I got up early in the morning, turned on my laptop and Zune and… started writing. Scenarios and dialogues. Dialogues and scenarios. And other stuff, too.  I’m 3572 words into my 50,000 word goal. I don’t know how good those words are, but at least I’ve started writing again and at a time when my brain is fresh.

Now, to just keep it going…

You can monitor my progress at my NaNoWriMo author page. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, send me your author page. We can be writing buddies and encourage each other.

Meanwhile, here are links to some of my favorite self-published writers who definitely have NO trouble getting stories from their brains to their computers. Enjoy.

WISHING ROCK series by Pam Stucky

SHALLOW SIGHS HILL by Toby Rigby

I never knew there was an actual “month” to focus on reading romance novels, but there is– and luckily, it’s this month!

There are thousands, probably millions of romance novels out there now. Were I not in the midst of a massive move, I’d probably curl up on a lawn chair and start devouring some of my favorite authors (Heather Graham, Lisa Jackson, Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber… the list goes on). 

I’m pleased and honored that so many people (thousands!) have read and enjoyed STEEL GODDESSES. If you haven’t had the pleasure to unplug for a couple of hours and take a trip back in time to NYC in the 80’s, where metal ruled and groupies were royalty, August is the perfect month to check it out.  There are links at the top of this website, but I’ll make it even easier for you to find it.

CLICK HERE to buy the book in paperback (on sale for $11.70 for a brief time)

CLICK HERE to download it for your Kindle (just $2.99)

If you’re looking for an autographed copy, email me: steelgoddesses@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to send you one for $15.00 (this price includes shipping)

Happy NATIONAL READ A ROMANCE Month!

(80’s metal power couple: Tawny Kitaen & David Coverdale)

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Vote for Steel Goddesses!

I need your help to make STEEL GODDESSES the featured pic in People magazine. All you have to do is click on the link and “Like” the pic!

 

Link  —  Posted: July 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’m excited to join the band Mechanism on the radio show “Northwest Convergence Zone” tonight (Sunday, May 26) at 9pm to talk about “Steel Goddesses” and next Friday’s fundraising concert at Louie G’s to benefit relatives of Mechanism singer Ryan – who died in a tragic house fire in Idaho.

Mechanism will perform at the show, along with Riot in Rhythm, Jason Kertson & the Immortals, and The Fail Safe Project. More info about the event on Facebook and at Mental Itch Records’ website!

Tune in at 5pm tonight for a fun interview (I hope I can be entertaining enough!) and join us Friday for some awesome music, food and help raise money for a very worthy cause!