Monday, March 18, 2013

Please Welcome Audra Middleton

Audra Middleton, writer of fantasy extraordinaire, is visiting today! She's sharing a blog on a fear many of us share. The old computer click phobia, or what happens if I press the button and everything goes poof?

Without further ado--Here's Audra!

Click Fear & Facebook Phobia

    I was one of the first kids to use a personal computer at my elementary school.  (Yeah, I’m that old.)  Got my picture in the local paper and everything.  I rocked Lemonade Stand and Oregon Trail like nobody’s business.  When I got my own Radio Shack computer, I even wrote simple computer programs.  In high school I was a wiz with the Macs in the journalism room.  I rarely had to ask my students for help with my new laptop when I taught junior high.  And then things changed…
    I don’t know what happened.  Perhaps a traumatic technology related tragedy occurred, and my mind has blocked it out.  Maybe it was that Fatal Monkey Virus that killed my computer in the nineties.  I’m not sure, but somehow I went from computer literate to technologically-challenged.
    I now suffer from Click Fear.  There’s something final about clicking those cyber buttons.  Will I lose everything I just worked on?  Do I really want to ‘send’ this?  I mean does what I just typed sound dirty?  In some cases dirty would be a bonus, but when you’re emailing your son’s teacher, not so much.  Why does the computer keep second-guessing me?  No, I am not sure I want to ‘place that order.’  Internet shopping is always a gamble.  Why am I conversing with an inanimate object?  Where did that screen go – the one I was just on?  I haven’t even clicked anything yet.  If I ‘click here’ am I going to have to wade through eighteen pop-up ads and wait ten minutes for the page to download?
    And there’s nothing worse than finally making that decision to click and nothing happens.  That’s when I over compensate.  Click²³ and now my computer won’t respond until the year 2062.  Each computer journey leaves me sweaty and in need of Xanax.  If it weren’t for undo, ctrl+alt+delete, and back arrows, I think I’d be uploading Fatal Monkey Viruses on all of my computers.
    Once I signed my publishing contract (yay), I found myself needing to build a website and join Facebook (yikes).  The whole idea of Facebook terrified me.  I come from a family of conspiracy theorists and I live in a small town.  I was quite certain everything I did on there could and would be used against me.  I had only been on it for ten about minutes before I had six Facebook related anxiety attacks.  Why does it only show my big shiny forehead when I post?  Did my pastor see that dirty joke I just ‘liked?’  How do I delete that picture my friend posted of me that looks like I’m having a seizure?  Is Big Brother watching me now?  Who am I kidding?  He’s been watching me since I tried to research how to kill someone and make it look like a heart attack.  (Writing novels sends you down some strange roads.)
    I thought I had shed my neurotic tendencies when I entered my thirties.  Apparently they decided to hang on a while longer.  But I’m old enough now that I know better than to let them win out.  I have been have been actively promoting my book on-line for a year now, and it didn‘t even require switching to decaf or taking up yoga.  Of course, I haven’t even attempted Twitter or Pinterest yet…

The Watcher

War threatens to destroy the world of Anthelion unless the holy man, Goran, can solve his prophecy riddle. For every clue he finds, another obstacle surfaces. An orphan girl, Watcher, becomes his responsibility. As if parenthood itself isn’t daunting enough, she keeps a bear for a pet and transforms into her forest surroundings to avoid socialization. Hope momentarily emerges when Goran finds Benaiah, the Chosen Son of the prophecy. Only he soon discovers Benaiah is a social pariah on the verge of embracing darkness.

When Benaiah and Watcher unexpectedly meet, the two outsiders find in each other a sense of belonging they’ve never known. Now their emerging love promises to bring about the very war Goran is struggling to prevent.

You can buy the Watcher here:

Audra's love of writing began in the third grade, when she was chosen to go to a young author’s conference based on a story, "The Dragon Cookie", which she wrote about a giant cookie that comes to life. She continued writing, and was sometimes asked to write stories for friends as birthday gifts.

Audra went to college thinking she would go into journalism, but opted to go into publishing instead, and even took an internship at Yale University Press. Audra married right after college and was unable to find a publishing job where they were living in Seattle. Audra took an office job. After helping put her husband through law school, Audra went back to school and got her teaching degree. Audra enjoyed teaching, but once her oldest was born, she chose to stay home. At the encouragement of friends Audra started writing again, the result being her first novel, Watcher, releasing January 2013.

Audra and her husband with their three boys, now live in a small town in eastern Washington. They have a black Lab named Benji who eats shoes, gophers and packages left on her front porch (thanks Fed-Ex). When Audra is not chauffeuring and refereeing her children, she writes, dabbles in on-line shopping and plays Texas Hold ‘Em with her friends.
You can find Audra at her website:
And on facebook: