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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Can you get there from here?

Where do I go from here?

Where I've been

Came from the depths of obscurity and mental illness to that place called author.
Kitten at computer

My blog

Jenn from Sapphire Designs created my blog on blogger in 2011. I had input; she was patient and the end result pleased us both.

Beginning of Kenna McKinnon, Author

I was on-line and met an Imajin Books author, Alison Bruce, who referred me to Cheryl Tardif at Imajin Books. I contacted Cheryl with the rough draft of Jive Hive, which we subsequently trimmed to half its size, changed the name to SpaceHive, and aimed it at a young adult audience rather than more mature.

Over the space of several months Cheryl mentored me until my debut novel was polished and ready for acceptance. She sent me not one but two contracts: one for eBook and one for trade paperback.

SpaceHive was published in eBook in August 2012 and released in print September 2012.

How did I do?

SpaceHive has not sold well despite my best attempts at marketing and Cheryl's best suggestions.

I'm told I'll need more books under my girth before SpaceHive may start to sell well, as I'll need a recognizable name.

True, at a book signing this spring a reader commented he'd never heard of me!

I recently contacted Jay at Kindle Promoters and paid for an annual subscription for several tweets a day for a year and his valuable suggestions. Jay has also accepted a short story which will be put in front of thousands of his readers, along with his other authors, to serve as a promotion for my books.

What else is out there from my pen?

I say books, because I've self-published The Insanity Machine and DISCOVERY: A collection of poetry. As well, BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, a YA/MG fantasy, has been accepted by Mockingbird Lane Press, a small press in the USA.

I'm hoping to sell a book of short stories in memory of my son Steve, who loved robots, sci-fi, and quirky writers.

Also, my new adult mystery novel, RED HERRINGS, is ready for its final edit before I attempt to look for a publisher.

Benjamin and Rumblechum, an early reader's chapter book, was co-authored by Emma Brinson and is looking for a home. It was accepted by Diamond Heart Press in California last year but they are no longer in business, so am looking for a new publisher.

Finally, a book of fantasy/horror is looking for a home, as well, Den of Dark Angels.

Where do I go from here?

Woman in contemplation
Maybe you can tell me, gentle readers, where I go from here.

What does the future hold for an author?

What does the future hold for SpaceHive and my other manuscripts? 

How and when should I market?

I have plans

Like any proud parent, I have plans for my novel "babies." 

Plans to spend some money promoting, as I'm able, and plans to edit and polish until my mystery is almost perfect, or as perfect as I and my editors can make it.

I plan to submit the manuscript of Red Herrings to the author-in-residence at the Canadian Authors Association this fall, for their critique. It's been edited by my own copy editor and beta readers.

This might be the novel I've been waiting for, a genre that's popular and sells well, and a book--dare I say? of amusing and interesting characters, including a schizophrenic female private eye.

What would you like to see?

A book set in medieval Russia? 

Napoleon invading Russia while the population burns its towns behind them?

India or China as a love story and a search for meaning? (I've just watched Eat, Pray, Love).

I am not a Phoenix. I will rise from my ruins and build on the ruins; I will not rise anew from my ashes.
Balloons of freedom



  1. Wow! It seems to me the, most interesting thing you write about is you, yourself.

  2. Hi Kenna, I wish you well on your journey and would like to invite you to visit my blog The Business of Being an Author at because I write about things that may help you along the way.

  3. Thank you, friend Judi, you are most helpful cheerleader to me in my journey. I don't believe I'm that interesting but am interested in the world around me, so that world intrinsically is interesting to me and others, I suppose. I myself am a very ordinary human being, somewhat of a dreamer yet concrete realism, I suppose. Thanks again.

  4. Marquita, I will visit your blog definitely and make a comment. Thank you for leaving this comment and wishing me well. Growth is not exponential I've found, it's like a graph of Wall Street that sometimes crashes!

  5. All very relevant questions, Kenna; and questions most every author asks themselves as they develop. I know I do.

    It seems the self-publishing movement has been somewhat disappointing to many novice authors who expected to "publish" a book and reap instant fame. Very few actually succeed in this. Most of us trudge along learning that the brass ring comes with strings. Marketing and promotion are evermore challenging when there are millions of new authors entering the ranks through self-publishing.

    It seems you are doing just what you need to do: persist. Keep writing, submit a variety of works to a variety of outlets, watch for promotional opportunities (interviews, book signings, readings at the library, etc) enlist qualified professionals to help, and so on. I wish I could give you a magic key to success, but I haven't found it yet myself. I just persist and hope.

  6. Thanks, Doug (one of my fave male names next to Steven, Ward, Kenneth, and Ryan)-- you're obviously a serious author as well, and persistence is probably the key, as you say. A radio interview is being aired tonight on World FM 101.7 and the moderator has been announcing my book giveaway all month, as well as announcements on her Facebook page. Her name is Naz Uppal and she hosts a radio show on Friday nights 10 pm-midnight called Naz at Night. I don't know if it's streaming but my little interview will be on there and she offered to send me an MP3 file of the interview as well. It's only about 3 or 4 minutes long. I've been in touch with my local library without much success but have heard stories like yours often enough, and so don't feel so alone. Publishers, of course, want the author to succeed and sometimes push the pore soul too hard, I think. What do you think about that?