January 28, 2015

A New Website Coming Soon

Hello and a belated Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2015 is being good to you so far. It has been for me. January is a month of celebrations at my house. Herman had his birthday on the 18th, and went for a car ride with Dori to DQ for ice cream. He also got two fish bowls and will get his Betta fish this weekend. Dori and her dad, Nikolas, celebrated their 2 year gotcha day on the 23rd, and Opie celebrates his 7 year gotcha today, the 28th.

I guess you're wondering why I have stopped blogging. Well, writing my book, FINDING MYA, took a lot of extra creative work, and left me with no time for much else. And then Christmas came, and I drove up to Michigan with my husband and Herman to be with family. And when we returned home, I went right back to work. This time I'm  working on a brand new website.

I hired Janeson Keeley from JTKweb to design a professional website, and as soon as I finish writing content, Janeson will put the final touches on it, and then I will have a launch pawty.

Herman's domain, www.wonderpurr.com, will be redirected to my my domain, www.kimberleykoz.com, so it won't matter which domain you use.

I'm super excited about the new website. I'm a storyteller and that's what my website will be focused on. Telling stories. Funny stories that will hopefully entertain and make you laugh out loud.

All of the interviews posted on both domains will be available on the new site. And I will also continue to review pet products, but with a novel twist that has my contact at Chewy.com and the editor of Catification, the book written by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, super excited. Sorry, no hints. You'll just have to stop by and see what that novel twist is.

Now don't pout. I can tell you about a few of the new features. Like...

TattleCat Chat - Herman has an opinion on everything, and this will be his column where he can talk about world events, traveling with Ray and I, his appearances at Blogpaws and book signings. Plus he will probably do some gossiping about what goes on at my house. He's not called Tattle Cat for nothing.

Cooking Wif Gidget -- @ChefGidget returns with recipes from the cookbook I kept when I was a Florida restaurateur.

Ask the Cat Magnet - I just had to do this. I've rescued 70+ stray cats in my lifetime, and have become the go-to-purrson (sorry!) on cat advice for friends, family, and complete strangers who mysteriously get my phone number. I can speak on a wide range of topics from behavior (both good and bad), feline quirks (why they do weird stuff), and how to rescue a stray with trust issues, especially if they're feral. I won't advise on health problems, however, so please consult a professional. You can click here to send your question. Please put Ask the Cat Magnet in the subject header.

Ask the Cat Magnet column is for humans only. If you are an angst-ridden fur-kid, you can direct your questions to...

Adorapurr Answers - Dori is such a copy cat. When she heard I was writing an advice column, she wanted to write one too. I'm skeptical about how she can give advice when she's only two. But if you have a problem and are willing to risk advice from a kid, then click here . Please put Adorapurr Answers in the subject header. And don't blame me if she ruins your life.

The rest of the Wonderpurr Gang -- Peaches, Chauncie Marie, Jack, Opie, Nikolas, Jesse and Frank -- will add their ex-purr-tise throughout the coming year, so stay tuned.

There will also be three really super great features on my new website, and I've kept these for last.

Sherlock Herms - Herman is a fan of classic movies like The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, The Hound of Baskervilles, and The Spy Who Shagged Me. So he's opened a detective agency, and you can read his adventures in a monthly series that will debut when the website launches.

Club Wonderpurr - It's fabulous to belong to an elite club, isn't it? Especially one without membership fees. When you add your email to my mailing list, you will receive a seasonal (4-per-year) mewsletter with Herman as the Edipurr. You will also be sent a secret password that will allow you to enter Club Wonderpurr, a special place on the website where you will find lots of fun stuff that only club members have access to. Things like contests with great giveaways, excerpts from upcoming novels and the photos that inspired me to write them. Plus you will get a behind-the-scenes look at my Author Life, and stories with private photos of The Wonderpurr Gang.

And that's not all. You will also have access to The Whiner, my diary revealing my fish-out-of-water adventures in rural Kentucky, complete with a house known as The Money Pit and a private cemetery that was reputed to be haunted. It's also where I nearly divorced Ray, increased my cat collection, and had a riding mower commit suicide. I hold nothing back, including unknown details about how Herman blew into my life during a blizzard.

Hopefully you are now excited about my new website. When it's ready, I will have my cats yowl from the roof top so you won't miss the big launch party, complete with giveaways.

Until then... as Herman would say... Have a Wonderpurr Day!

~ Kimberley Koz

October 14, 2014

Why I Couldn't Afford to Channel my Inner Dahli

I recently published my first children's book, FINDING MYA, and thought I would share with you a little of what I went through to get the manuscript into a print book. There was so much to learn, and so many details that I didn't expect until they popped up, demanding attention. The biggest hurdle was the interior photos. It figures. I start with a children's book with brightly colored pictures. That has to be the hardest and priciest way to publish on your own for the first time. But...that's just how I roll. Take the easy way and just publish a regular book? No way! Let's write a children's book with lots of pictures and see what happens! Wheee!

Well. What happened was...the pictures came out great. But I didn't think they were bright enough to please a child. So I channeled my inner Dahli and ... voila! Loved it! Except...

Except all that ink and the size of the images ramped up the price before author royalties higher than the moon! I had to go back and rework all the photos in order to make the book affordable. I also wanted to donate a portion of our sales to the humane society in the towns where I have book signings, so there was a lot of hours that went into making this book. Not just the photos, but also downsizing the font and page count had to be considered to bring the price down.

Let me show you a photo I did for Chapter 4 entitled 'This Ain't Gonna Be Pleasant.'

I started out with a great photo taken by Scottish photographer, Paul Boland, who was gracious to let me use his photo called 'It's Never A Straight Road.'

photo of a road in Scotland taken by Paul Boland
©Paul Boland
I needed the road, but not really the sky and hills behind it. So off they went! Poof!

Then I added Herman on the guardrail, and on the road, playing 'possum, I put Joey, one of my yard possums. I also added a full moon from a photo I took years ago.
photo of road with Herman on guardrail and Jack in the road.
©2014 Kimberley Koz
I thought it came out pretty good. Except... that's when my inner Dahli kicked in. I wanted MORE!
same photo as above with intense pop art colors
©2014 Kimberley Koz
Pretty amazing, huh? I really loved this picture...so much! But it was huge and full of pricey ink, so I didn't have a choice. I had to rework it. Simmer it down... Make it less costly.

This was the final result. I wasn't happy that I couldn't ramp up the colors, but I wanted my readers to be visually entertained. I thought this way of framing the photo would give the reader everything the original photo had, but with an interesting twist. As the image is on white paper, all you really see is the oblong windows, not the white frame behind it. I like it.
Same photo as above in a tri oval frame
©2014 Kimberley Koz
So, that's a little Behind The Scenes look-see into FINDING MYA. Please leave a comment to tell me what you think of the revision of Chapter 4's picture.

And if you haven't bought a copy of FINDING MYA yet, you can click the below picture to check it out. I am donating a percentage of the sales to the Tunica Humane Society, a no kill shelter in my area. But when I travel to do book signings, I will donate a percentage to that area's humane society. At my house, it's all about saving the animals.


August 10, 2014

A Beautiful Surprise in Montreal

I love Surprises! I especially love vacations where I have only a vague idea of what there is to see and do in that town.

July 15, 2014

Who I Blame for my Home Computer Problems

I had fun yesterday!
Over the weekend Raynman, my hubby, complained he couldn't get on line with our laptop. Well, he can barely turn it on so...
But then, I couldn't get it to work either. Oh joy! We really did have a problem. Probably Comcast messing with us. 
I always blame my problems on Comcast. Even when I wander off in an ADD-ish fog and leave the bacon to burn.
So yesterday morning I decided to tackle the issue before I started work on the overly complicated process of getting images to work in a Createspace template.
I was already geared up to have a migraine, and had both my coffee and a bottle of Bayer Back and Body sitting next to the computer. I know, coffee will give you a headache, but I get headaches if I don't have my coffee, so don't go there with me.
Anyway! I spent ALL FREAKIN' MORNING trying to figure out what was going on. It kept saying the proxy server wasn't responding.
I finally Googled it, then went through another hour of confused computer geek gibberish until someone SANE wrote... "uncheck the proxy box." So, I unchecked the box and yep. It works! Life is good once again. Now all I have to do is find someone SANE to tell me how to deal with my Createspace image issues.