Gotta Love Family

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Yup, that’s the view!

Funny how one week away from home can throw off your routine! We went away to visit my grandmother in a place called Ein Sokhna, on the Red Sea. The water there is so calm and clear. My kids caught a bunch of starfish and sand dollars, not to mention the number of shells they collected! If it weren’t for the ferocious mosquitoes which attack at night, it would have been a perfect vacation.

The internet there is not too stable, however, so I’m behind with blog posts and a couple of online writing courses… and I feel like it’ll take me twice as long to catch up. More writing related things on my to-do list!

As soon as we got back I started preparing for the online launch of my upcoming book, Behind Picket Fences. I practiced reading Beautiful, the poem I was planning on reading as well as the excerpt from the novel, until I finally got them right. (Well…that’s what I thought anyway. Listening to the recording, I think I could have done a much more effective job with the poem. You’ll have to give it a listen and let me know what you think!)

A few minutes before the launch starts, I sit down and adjust my computer and log into the event and everything is set up. Then I happen to notice that my parents are ‘attending.’ The reason I notice this right away, is because, despite the fact that all other attendees have their videos turned off (as they should), my father has his on. So he’s just sitting there, leaning back in his chair, focused on his computer screen..and everyone can see him! They can’t even see me! Then, despite all attendees being muted, I hear my mom say, ‘It’s supposed to start now.’ Oh, but that’s not all, folks! A few minutes later I look at my screen — the one the hostess of the launch is showing to all the attendees — and instead of it saying ‘Hostess is sharing her screen’ it says ‘Ali Hegazi is sharing his screen.’ I kid you not, people! I saw the stock page he had on his bookmark bar and all the news webpages he follows! I chuckled and thought to myself, ‘Yup, that’s just about right. My dad’s gonna ruin the launch.’ A couple of years ago when my dad went to visit my brother at his dental clinic, my brother had him wait in his office until the previous patient was finished; my dad spent those few minutes on my brother’s computer. A short while later, the receptionist goes up to my brother and tells him that the computer system is down! Apparently he had upgraded something in the system, and the upgrade didn’t go too smoothly. But we all have those moments, right? Where would we be without a little family embarrassment/entertainment?

Luckily, his sharing of the screen didn’t last long and the launch went well. I had been worried my internet would act up, but it behaved itself. Hasn’t been behaving since then, mind you (and I can’t blame it on my dad, either!), but I was relieved the launch took place without any technical glitches. We picked two winners to receive signed copies and announced the pre-order incentives, not to mention the Q & A session where attendees asked me all sorts of questions! I love helping out other writers, so that was my favorite part of the launch.

In case you missed it, you can watch the online launch here. The pre-order incentives are the current discount price at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which will revert to full price as the official launch date (July 1) approaches. So if you’re interested, order your copy today to take advantage of the 25% discount! The other incentive is the character interviews that will go out once a week for four weeks (starting June 1), but these are only available to those who subscribe to my free newsletter. So if you’re interested in learning more about the women of Behind Picket Fences, make sure you sign up here.

In my next post I plan on spreading some of the knowledge I’ve gained through the online writing courses I’ve been taking…stay tuned!

 

 

I Sound Like a Dork

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Let me be completely honest with you, I have never been fond of the sound of my voice. I feel like it’s screechy and the exact opposite of smooth. But like so many other attributes that are less than flattering, I have grown into it; it is mine, and I accept it as part of who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be breaking out into song anytime soon, but I won’t be shrinking away from listening to myself either.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself….

Last night, Sarah Rhea Werner, hostess of the Write Now podcast, interviewed me. It was so fun talking about my upcoming book and my writing journey. You know that high you get after a great conversation? That’s what I was feeling. But with it being past one in the morning my time, that didn’t lend for a very restful night. It was such a great experience, though, that I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I lay there, twisting and turning in bed replaying my answers, going through all the ‘Doh! I should’ve said THIS!’ and the ‘Oh my God, how did I not mention THAT!’ moments. We all go through that to some extent after conversations, don’t we? (Please say ‘yes.’) And it all just made me wonder: was I clear enough in my message? Will the audience understand what I meant when I explained why being God-conscious is important and how it ties into our writing? Or will it be something they roll their eyes at and tune out? Will they be able to follow the excerpt that I read? Will it pique their interest enough to have them look up the book?

Once the episode airs, I’ll be posting it here for sure. And you’ll have to tell me whether or not I sound like a dork! For now, here’s the link to Sarah’s podcast. She offers great advice for writers in Write Now and holds lively conversations with various authors on Coffee Break. Check her out!