Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Jo?

Oh hey, blog! Long time, no . . .

Okay, yeah. It hasn't even been that long since my last entry. It just feels extraordinarily long to me because I've tried three or four times now to post something and each time I get halfway through my entry and realize I'm not even making sense.

And then comes the delete button.

Plus I feel like I'm running out of interesting questions to ask myself. Does anyone out there have a question they'd like answered? Because I'm tired of talking about all the things I normally talk about.

Ahem. Speaking of questions, today's is about my author name: Heidi Jo Doxey. Why the Jo?

Well, first of all, I'm only planning to use Heidi Jo Doxey for fiction books I write. I'll stick with Heidi Doxey for everything else.

Second of all, I didn't just make it up for the aesthetics. My middle name is actually Joanne. I'm named after my grandma, Joanne Bushman Doxey.

She's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. Check out this article about her in the Ensign. Or this video of the Tabernacle Choir singing a song she wrote.

I had always planned on passing on the middle name "Joanne" to one of my daughters, but just in case that never happens, I figured I might as well get some more use out of it myself first. Because I love my grandma and I hope that what I'm doing as a writer will honor the legacy she's given our family.

So that's the biggest reason. But there are also some bonus perks.

By using Heidi Jo Doxey for my novels, I get to keep them somewhat separate from Tiny Talks and sort of distinguish between the nonfiction books I write and the fiction books I write. I'm not sure if this will actually prove useful for anyone except me—right now it seems to be more of a nuisance than anything. But I like it because at least in my mind it's like I have two separate writing careers, each with different goals, projects, and priorities.

Another thing I like is that the name Jo already sounds authorial. It reminds me of Jo March and J.K. Rowling. I could use some of their karma.

And finally, signing books as Heidi Jo Doxey means I have a fancier signature. I know. It's silly. But when you're sitting in your college classes, not taking notes on the psych lecture you're supposed to be listening to, you have a lot of time to scribble in your notebook and practice your signature—just in case you ever become rich/famous. And trust me, after all that practicing and several variations, Heidi Jo Doxey was by far the coolest-looking version I came up with.

I just had to write a book so I could use it.

And speaking of my books, I have a few bits and pieces of author news to share:

1. May 12th is only 80 days away. Crazy!

2a. I'm closing in on halfway done with my first draft of The Jane Journals book 2. :)

This is my chart I use to track my progress. In case you can't tell from the blurry picture, I'm at 18000 words out of roughly 40000. I tend to add not subtract when I rewrite, so I aim low with my first draft and then make up the difference. In case you're interested, the final word count on book 1 was 49176.

2b. I may have also come up with a title for book 2, but I'm going to keep mum on that for now.

3. The board book I've got coming out in August is now up for pre-order on Amazon.

It's called 1, 2, 3 with Nephi and Me! and I'm really excited to see how it turns out. So far the illustrator has done an awesome job. Check it out if you're interested.

4. We almost have a final title in place for the sharing time resource book I'll be writing for a November release. I wrote the ad copy for it the other day, so I will keep you all posted on that book too.

So many books! It's awesome. I love being an author.

Phew. I finished a post without pressing delete. Go me!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Can we see the cover for your new book?

Heck yes, you can!!!!!!

Check it out, people!

Have I told you yet how freaking excited I am about this book?

It's coming out in May, and I am literally counting down the days.* Super stoked to have you all read it! Or at least those of you who are into books. And books like this one. So maybe that won't be very many of you after all. That's okay. I'm just loving this whole experience and I know it's only going to get more and more awesome in these next few months leading up to its release.

I've already got a blog tour set up and I'm going to do a guest post on someone else's blog that I don't even know. (How's that for cool?)

Plus I'm planning to go to LDStorymakers this year, which will be amazing because it's always amazing. But also because it's the weekend after my book comes out and so I'll get to go walk around and show it off to all my author-type friends. And they're all excited for me too.

So basically life is just great.

Also, if you're interested, you can pre-order the book on Amazon or Plus it's available on (for people in Jane Austen's homeland) (which I think is India, so that's awesome because I LOVE India) (for people like my brother-in-law, Sam, and my friends Whitney and Melissa)

and probably some other sites too. I'll be sure to mention them if I find more.

*It's 94 days, in case you were wondering. Told you I was counting.

PS—I'm sorry for the over-use of the word "awesome" in this post. But sometimes things really are just awesome and there's no other word for it. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where are you right now?

I'll give you two clues:

It starts with L 

and ends with os Angeles.

And it's AWESOME!!!

Like palm trees and walking around in a cardigan in February kind of awesome.

And what's even more awesome is the reason I'm here.

I'm at a publishing conference called PubWest and I get to spend the next few days geeking out with and learning from lots of other people who make books. It's pretty darn cool. 

Today, I feel like I'm in the movies.

Have you ever noticed how many people in movies work in publishing? Especially if the movie is set in New York. Then it's almost guaranteed that one of the characters will be an editor.

Most of the time being in publishing isn't all that glamorous. In fact, there's some quote about books and sausages—the two things you never want to see being made. I'm too lazy to look up the actual wording, but it's kind of true sometimes. Watching a book go from mere concept to tangible object, and every step in that process, can feel like a long, slow-motion car crash. A fascinating, can't-look-away mess.

Except that makes it sound dramatic and remarkable, when really it's just lots and lots and lots of emails and lots and lots and lots of spreadsheets. I won't bore you guys with all the details about packaging and specs and print runs and RFQs that I work through every day. 

I'll just tell you about this one day, today, when I feel a movie-version of a publishing professional. Today is the kind of day when I woke up early to catch a flight and while I was at the airport I called a printing press to give them the go-ahead to print a big run of one of our backlist titles. And then on the plane I brainstormed ways to make my team more efficient in this one specific process that I'm not going to tell you about in case any of them are reading this. (Hi, guys. I miss you. Thanks for covering for me while I'm off feeling like a movie star.)

Then when we arrived at the hotel, I met up with another one of our printers who was full of praise for me and our books. And I got to meet his colleagues and some other folks. Then I came up to my hotel room and wrote ad copy, which is the little blurb about a book that goes onto websites and in catalogs. And the whole day I was answering emails and making sure things were still running smoothly back home.

I felt like I was on top of my game.

These are the kind of days that make all the other days seem cooler. 

Not that I mind the other days. I actually love my job every day, even on the days when all I do is answer a million emails and fill in a million spreadsheets. But some days, like today, are just a little extra awesome.

And the palm trees are a nice touch.