Category: debut

The Unexpected

There are times when I randomly Google my book.

I’ve only done this like 4 times, I promise!

I know, it’s silly right?  But I just want to make sure my baby’s still doing okay out there in the world, see what people are saying, feed my unending curiosity :).  Recently, it just so happens that I found 3 posts people had written about ADORKABLE and…sigh.  They said the nicest things!!!  Each post was unexpected and so very awesome!

If you are one of the people who wrote these posts, just know that you made my day! :)

The Reader and the Chef: Top 10 Favorite Books in 2016 (so far)

NewInBooks: Books to Read if You Like YA Romantic Comedies

U.S.-Brazil Book Review: Top 5 Wednesday–Authors You Are Waiting On Another Book From

On the flip side, this week I also discovered some unexpected things that were not-so-nice.  Technology was not my friend.  My email went a bit wonky, so as I was trying to email back and forth with my cover designer, some of my and her replies were not coming through.  Sucked because we were trying to get the print cover for ADORKABLE finalized, and I really didn’t want to inconvenience her.  I also had to download 3 different programs (which took several hours) in order to find the right one to save fill-form PDFs (an issue completely unrelated to the print cover).  Ugggh…

The good news is I finally found the right program, and I was able to order proof copies of ADORKABLE today!

Yayyyy, huzzah, woohoo and all the good stuff!

The proofs should come in sometime next week, and I’ll finally get to hold a physical copy of my book for the first time :).  I. Cannot. Wait.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

2000+ Adorkable Readers

I checked ADORKABLE today, and it has over 2000 ratings on Goodreads 0___0.

I really can’t believe it!

Now while the number is incredible, amazing, freaking unbelievable by itself, the meaning of it made my jaw drop.  That 2000+ means that there are over 2000 Adorkable readers out there!  I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

I do not have that many friends.  I don’t even think I know that many people!  I mean, maybe but…seriously, 2000!!!

And it looks like those readers are from all over the world.

I…can’t…even…gah!

I can’t imagine getting to visit all of those places, but my book has been there, and that makes me so grateful.  I don’t know how or why or what is making people read my little YA romance debut, but if you are among that 2000+ readers: THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!

You rock, Adorkable readers!  You really do :).

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Be Yourself

People say it all the time, and you hear it again and again, maybe especially if you’re a young adult.

“Be yourself.”

It’s a great message, the idea that if you just “be yourself” everything will work out–and even if it doesn’t, you’ll be okay.  It’s powerful and empowering…and potentially very scary.  I mean, think about it.  Imagine, putting yourself out there like that, being who you are regardless of what people think, what they may say, how they may react.  You also have to know who you are in the first place, and that is tough for most adults let alone a teenager who is still trying to figure out her place in the world.

Like I said: powerful yet scary stuff.

I work with young kids, and school is about to start.  I was having a hard time deciding what to write this week when I saw all the back-to-school posts.  That got me thinking about how daunting starting a new school year can be.

And then…I thought about Sally :).

One of the things I love best about Sally Spitz (the main character of ADORKABLE) is that she is completely herself.  She loves what she loves and who she loves wholeheartedly.  Whether it’s quoting Yoda, wearing Harry Potter memorabilia, re-enacting her favorite scene from a movie that almost no one knows, or admitting to her best friend that she needs a fake boyfriend, Sally is who she is.  Unapologetically.  Like a proud author-parent, it’s also one of the things I’m most proud of.

That doesn’t mean she isn’t insecure sometimes.  Sally definitely has doubts.  Those are a part of her, too, and they make her human.  The important thing is that despite those insecurities, despite those doubts, she doesn’t let that stop or change her.

Like it or not–like her or not–it’s okay, and here’s why:

Sally likes herself.

She is loyal to her friends, her family and her fandoms :).  She’s a smart girl who loves books.  And she will be herself no matter what.  If you think about it, what “be yourself” really means is: Be brave.

As school starts back, I hope all the young adults out there (and the adults) can be brave.  I hope I can be brave.  I hope it’s one of the things people take away after reading ADORKABLE.

Be yourself.  It’s one of the hardest and most important things you can do.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

We have a winner…and a Gryffindor :)

At midnight, a winner was randomly chosen for the ADORKABLE 3 Month Anniversary Giveaway!!!

And…

her name is…

Natasha!!!

Huge congratulations to Natasha, and thank you to everyone who entered.  There were quite a few entries, and again, just thank you so much for helping me celebrate ADORKABLE.  It really made the three month anniversary special :-).

Also, I went to Hogwarts and was sorted!  Okay, so I didn’t really go to Hogwarts, but I did join Pottermore.  I took the test–unfortunately, there was no sorting hat.  I answered all of the questions as honestly as possible, without any expectations.  Not going to lie, some of the questions were pretty deep and took a lot of thought.

But now, I can officially say: I am a Gryffindor.

My main character Sally would be so proud lol!  It came as somewhat of a surprise but a very welcome one :).  Go Gryffindor!

In writing news, I have been working on getting everything ready for the print version of ADORKABLE as well as editing Ash’s book.  More on that later, but in case you were wondering what I’ve been working on, there you go.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Bittersweet

“So, how’s the book doing?”

People ask this sometimes, and I always answer, “It’s going really well.”  In reality, the book is doing great in my opinion.  As far as success goes, I reached and surpassed my goals for the first few months following the book’s release.  My debut novel has done far better than I ever hoped.

But when someone in my family asked how many copies I sold, and I told him, he was…unimpressed.

The response (and yes, I’m paraphrasing): “Oh…is that good?”  Then after my explanation that yes, it was very good, “Well, I hope you sell a million copies.”

Me, too.  Absolutely, me, too–but seriously, it’s only been three months!

And I get it.  I know where he’s coming from because until I looked up the standard sales for a self-published debut author (there is no real number; however, you can get a good idea if you read enough posts/articles) I didn’t know how good my book was doing either.

I mean, yeah, I was happy–ECSTATIC!!!–but I would’ve been happy if the book sold 10 copies.  You probably scoffed, but I’m completely serious.

When I started, I had little to no author platform.  This is still basically true lol.  ADORKABLE is my debut novel.  I read and read and read some more about ALL of the many things I needed in place before the book even came out and scrambled like crazy to get everything set up.  I’d worked for years writing books and wanted to give my debut the best chance possible.  The fear of not finding readers (and therefore not selling any books) was always what held me back.  Well, that and the fact that self-publishing seemed like such a daunting task.

Plus…I’m going to tell you a secret.  It may just apply to me, but I’m pretty sure it’s universal.

Just because you write happy books, it doesn’t mean that your life is free of sadness.

No one’s life is perfect.  Crap happens to everyone.  In fact, if my life was a book, I’m pretty sure it would be one of those sad contemporaries that end in tragedy. Yeah, that’s why I can’t write those books and do not often enjoy reading them. No need to remind me of how bad life can be.  I know it, I believe it, and I can never forget it.

But at least, I can (and will) try and make my characters happy.

That’s one of the things I love about books like ADORKABLE.  It’s like a pick me up, an escape, medicine for the bad times life throws at you.  It is hope that things can get better.  Anyway, I promised to write about the “sweet and (bitter) times” on this journey.  This point in time is definitely bittersweet :).  Hope you have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

It’s Giveaway Time!

Today is the 3 Month Anniversary of ADORKABLE‘s release!!!  I really can’t believe my debut novel has been out in the world for three whole months.  Sally and Becks are out there, being discovered by readers.  The book has ratings and reviews and people who actually enjoyed it.

That is just…incredible :).

It has been a while since I’ve done a giveaway.  So, since today is a very special day, let’s celebrate!

The ADORKABLE 3 Month Anniversary Giveaway is open to anyone and everyone in the U.S. and internationally.  The prize up for grabs is a $30 Amazon Gift Card.  The giveaway will run from June 30 (midnight) till July 21 (midnight) at which time the winner will be announced.  There are several ways to enter, so what are you waiting for?  Check out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone who has supported my little YA romance.  Whether you’ve read the book, reviewed or offered an encouraging word, I am so grateful!  Good luck with the giveaway, and I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Sally & Becks

The time has come!  I got a couple of great suggestions for the ADORKABLE cast (from a family member lol), and I liked all of her picks.  Well, I didn’t like the person she picked for Sally because she chose a picture of me.  Ugh!  Even though we are very much soul sisters, I do not physically resemble Sally at all.  If Sally was a real person, however, we would totally be friends, twinning in our Gryffindor jerseys :).

I had fun looking through pictures of actors, models, athletes etc.  Trying to figure out the right search terms to get exactly what I wanted was…interesting.  Yes, you detected a hint of sarcasm there, but it’s all good.  Google and I became very close frenemies during this time.

Luckily, I ended up finding some great choices for Sally and Becks <3.

Here are my picks:

Sally

Beautiful inside and out, Emma Watson would make an awesome Sally Spitz.  And no, I didn’t just pick her because she played Hermione :).

Sally2

Another great choice for Sally, I think Abigail Breslin is blonde now, but she’ll always remind me of Olive, the underdog in Little Miss Sunshine.

Sally3

And another great choice.  After seeing her as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family, I think Ariel Winters could definitely be Sally.

So, those are my girls!  Each one is adorkable in her own way, each somewhat Sally-esque.  I really could see any of them playing her.  Annnd without further ado, here are my guys:

Allow me to introuce Yoann Gourcuff, a real live French soccer player.  Yes, I’ve also developed a sudden interest in French soccer lol!  But seriously, this guy could totally be Becks <3.

Becks3

Liam Hemsworth.  No explanation needed.

Becks4

Gorgeous and giving off some serious smoulder, I think Tyler Hoechlin would make a great Becks.  Yes, I’m a fan of Teen Wolf, and yes, I am patiently waiting for Derek to rejoin the show :).

That’s my ADORKABLE dream cast!  It took me forever to find Sally and Becks, so I guess all of the other characters will just have to remain in my imagination for now.  Did you like my picks?  Do you have some of your own?  If you do, I’d love to hear about them!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway, and I’m going to try and set one up for tomorrow.  It’s to celebrate ADORAKBLE‘s 3 Month Anniversary!!!  As long as I can figure out Rafflecopter and how to get that setup, we’ll be good to go.  Wish me luck lol.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Casting Call: ADORKABLE

Calling all fangirls and fanboys of ADORKABLE, I need your help!

If you’ve read the book, I would really love to hear who you’d cast if ADORKABLE ever became a movie.  (Note: This is not even in the realm of possibility lol.  There is no actual ADORKABLE movie–but a girl can dream!)  Like Sally, I love movies and TV shows and everything pop culture.  Plus, I’ve seen other authors do this, and it looks like a lot of fun.

Truth: it’s hard for me to visualize what my characters look like.

*gasp, wince, runs to hide in a corner*

But honestly, it is so much easier for me to know a character’s inner-workings: heart, mind, thoughts, likes and dislikes etc.  Eventually, I do get a handle on what they look like physically, but I sometimes have to add those details later.  You have no idea how much I wish I was one of those authors who just knew.  Maybe one day I’ll try finding a picture on Pinterest and then working from there.  Hmm…

Anyway, back to the casting :).

Who would be your Sally?  Who would be your Becks?  What about Ash and the rest of the ADORKABLE cast?  Please, don’t be shy.  I can’t wait to hear/see your ideas!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

My Favorite Things

I wasn’t sure what to write this week, so I decided to share a bit about my writing process.  Boring, you say?  No way!  Okay, okay, it may be boring, but I’m going to try and make it as interesting as possible lol :).  Here it goes.

A few of my favorite things (to write) are:

1) Dialogue:  I love, love, love writing these scenes!  There’s nothing I love more than when characters talk to each other.  The banter, jokes, back and forth, the flirting, those scenes are my favorites.

2) Character names:  What can I say?  I love naming my characters.  I have a lot of fun with this (maybe too much fun) and even write it down when I hear a great name.  No really, I have a list.  Some of my favorite authors come up with the best character names.  Gail Carriger, Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling come to mind.

3) Titles:  I’ve read that a lot of authors have trouble with this.  Believe it or not, this is usually the first thing I come up with.  Even before I have a concrete idea for the story itself, the title just pops into my head and stays there.  Typically, the title informs me what the book should be about, and I take it from there.  (Note: ADORKABLE has always been the title for Sally and Becks’s story.  It started that way and never changed <3).

4) Kissing scenes:  A great kiss can make or break a book for me.  I love reading them.  I used to be hesitant about writing them, but now, I just try and let the characters have their moment.  First kisses in particular can be earth-shattering.  The kiss factor is very important in any romance, and I will continue to work hard to deliver the swoon.

5) The Real:  I love it when characters show their true colors.  Whether it’s geeking out, freaking out, having a good cry or confessing their love for the first time, I love being there with my characters when things get real.

And there you have it, a few of my favorite things!

Writing can be frustrating at times, but these are parts of the process I really enjoy.  Also, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped me get the word out last week!  Thank you for the support and for making the ADORKABLE Kindle Countdown Deal a success.  I truly appreciate it and hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

So…I did it!

Hi everyone,

So…I did it!  I was able to set up the Kindle Countdown Deal, and it was actually easier than I thought it would be.  You may be asking yourself, “What’s a Kindle Countdown Deal?”  This was me about a week ago.  It means that ADORKABLE, my debut YA romance, will be available at a deeply discounted price for a limited time.

Starting tomorrow, you or your bookish friends can purchase ADORKABLE for just $0.99 cents!!!

The deal will run from June 7 at 8:00 am PST until June 13 at 12:00 am PST.

If you’re friends with a bookworm you think would enjoy the book and would like to gift it to them, please take advantage of this promotion!  If you’d like to help me spread the word about this deal, I’d definitely appreciate your help!  I would love for readers to benefit from this limited time deal, so the more people who share, tweet, facebook about it, the better.  I still don’t know how to do those pre-made tweets or I would post some here.  But if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love your help in sharing this news.

Again, thank you to all of the readers who have already read ADORKABLE and to those who will read it in the future!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman