No Tricks, Only Music and Publishing Treats – October 2023 Wrap

Wow, October unfolded into a magical month, full of adventures and dreams coming true. From making lots of music memories to reaching a turning point on my publishing journey, I can’t wait to share the highlights.

The Josie Music Awards in Nashville

One of my favorite highlights from October was traveling to Nashville for the 9th Annual Josie Music Awards. Receiving three nominations this year means the world, and I’m forever grateful for the recognition. Even though I didn’t take home an award, I had a wonderful time in Music City, reuniting with friends and making memories.

Demi standing on the JMAs red carpet, wearing her sparkly blue gown

I put together a blog post from my trip to Nashville, sharing the weekend’s adventures, photos, and videos. I hope you enjoy it.

Demi standing in front of the JMAs backdrop in the Grand Ole Opry House, wearing her sparkly blue gown

When I started chasing my songwriting dreams in 2019, I had no idea I’d get the chance to attend music awards, especially being an independent artist. I’ve dedicated so much time to developing my craft, recording music, networking and marketing, and much more. Knowing my hard work is starting to pay off gives me motivation to keep moving forward. This year’s awards shows may be over, but I know there are many more in my future.

The Hear Me Out Photo Shoot

Since all the songs on my new album, Hear Me Out, are finished being recorded, I had my photo shoot for the project this month. I seriously can’t wait for you to see the pictures and hear my new music.

This was my favorite photo shoot yet because I was more strategic than ever. In the past, I got photos taken without having a full vision for my projects. Also, I didn’t always know what the singles would be. Releasing an album is very involved, and I feel like it took me a while to become comfortable with the process. Now that I have a stronger understanding of who I want to be as a songwriter and artist, I can better portray that, both through my music and photos. So, going into this photo shoot, I chose outfits specifically for the three singles and actual album cover art. By doing this, my photographer and I were able to accurately capture the vibes of the singles and overall project, making this shoot a success.

Hear Me Out is coming in 2024, and I’m counting down the days until I get to kick off my new era with the lead single soon.

My Interview for Bold Journey Magazine

Doing interviews is still one of my favorite parts of being a creative, and the one I did with Bold Journey Magazine has made my list of favorites.

During my interview, I share a little about myself as a songwriter, artist, author, and podcast host, talk about how I’ve overcome imposter syndrome, break down the three qualities and areas of knowledge that have helped me the most on my journey, unveil my commitment to becoming more patient, and more. This is one of the most unique and vulnerable interviews I’ve ever done, so I hope you enjoy reading it here.

Thank you so much to Michael from Bold Journey Magazine for reaching out and giving me this interview opportunity. It not only gave me the chance to share my story with a new audience but also allowed me to do a lot of self-reflection, something I believe is very important. I know this interview is going to be a special one to look back on in a few years.

My Interview on the Georgia Songbirds

My October interviews continued with the release of my chat with Jesse on his podcast, the Georgia Songbirds. I can’t get over how fun this one was.

During the episode, Jesse and I had a totally unscripted chat. We of course talked about my journeys in the music, publishing, and podcasting industries, but we also had some pretty off-the-rails conversations, two of which were about waterslides and snakes. Yep, told you this was a blast. Also, Jesse played some of my songs, and I unveiled the inspiration behind them. This was hands down one of the most entertaining podcast interviews I’ve done.

You can listen to my episode on all the major podcast platforms, and the direct link to Spotify is here. Huge thank you to Jesse for having me on the show. I had a wonderful time stopping by the digital bird’s nest.

Drums for “Tinsel Heart”

This month, my drummer elf, Sophia, totally sleighed—yes, sleighed—on my fourth original Christmas song, “Tinsel Heart.” I unfortunately couldn’t zoom into the recording session like usual, but when my producer sent me the files, I was literally floored. Sophia played exactly what I wanted and more. I’m forever blessed I get to work with such talented musicians.

I’m beyond excited to announce “Tinsel Heart” is set to release on all digital platforms on November 24. I can’t believe it’s going to be my fourth Christmas single. This one is very special to me, so from my tinsel heart to yours, I hope it brings you some extra magic this holiday season.

“Quiet” on the October Children

I may be looking forward to releasing “Tinsel Heart,” but I definitely didn’t skip over Halloween. In fact, this year’s spooky season brought me one of the most unique opportunities I’ve had yet.

The October Children is a Halloween series created by another member of the writing community. When I saw Patrick post on Twitter about the project, I immediately took a look. The spooky project includes all types of Halloween related art, so obviously, I reached out to Patrick about possibly having my song, “Quiet,” be part of this year’s season. To my complete delight, he loved the song and centered it in the third episode.

Since the studio version of “Quiet” isn’t mixed or mastered yet, I recorded a piano-vocal demo myself. I loved sharing such a special recording of the song I did completely on my own. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, the October Children exclusively premiered “Quiet,” since I’ve never shared the song in its entirety before.

The October Children is available on all the major podcast platforms, as well as on the project’s website. You can listen to my episode here. I can’t thank Patrick enough for allowing me to be part of this season. I loved sharing “Quiet,” and I’m looking forward to releasing the studio recording on my album next year.

Producing and Co-Hosting Tricks and Treats on Heart of Indie Radio

The Halloween fun continued when I got to produce and co-host Heart of Indie Radio’s Halloween special, Tricks and Treats. Since I’ve gained a ton of experience both co-hosting and producing radio shows, especially this year, I’ve become extremely comfortable with the process. Being part of Tricks and Treats made my Halloween extra spooky and musical this year.

As always, I had so much fun choosing songs for the show, along with including some of Eddie’s suggestions this time. We had entertaining Halloween themed conversations during the station breaks, chatting about magic powers, ghosts and spirits, candy, and more. You can listen to the show on MixCloud.

Huge thank you to Eddie and my whole Heart of Indie team for allowing me to both produce and co-host shows so frequently. I’ve really grown to enjoy this side of the music industry, and I’m blessed I get to work on shows with the best group of people in the radio world.

The Seattle Writing Workshop

Attending writing conferences has become one of my favorite ways to continue my education about the publishing industry and make connections with other bookish individuals. This month, I participated in the online Seattle Writing Workshop and loved every minute of it. From learning valuable information during the classes and panels to getting the opportunity to pitch two agents and an editor, the weekend was a massive success. Every time I finish a conference, I’m eager to apply all I learned to my manuscripts and my involvement in publishing as a whole. Though the Seattle Writing Workshop was my last conference of 2023, I’m sure I’ll be attending many more in the future.

Entering My Vague Publishing Era

Well, my friends, things are happening. Right now, I can’t share details, but believe me, I’m bursting to do so. Since I started querying on July 5, 2022, I’ve dreamed of the day when I’d make the shift from the querying trenches to what everyone in publishing likes to call the vague era. I’ve finally made it to the two-week period where magic is happening behind the scenes. Staying quiet is driving me nuts, and I feel like time is moving in reverse. Still, what I can say for sure is I’ll be making a huge announcement in November.

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Last year, I took the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge for the first time. Since I enjoyed it so much, I’m super excited for round two this November. I spent a ton of time this month preparing to draft another entire manuscript during the challenge. From doing research to creating my plot outline and everything in between, I filled my prep document with lots of information. After spending most of this year revising other manuscripts, I’m ready to draft a new book and feel eager to dive in on November 1.

So, that’s a wrap on another amazing month. From attending the Josie Music Awards to becoming vague in the publishing world, October was so, so good to me.

I already know November is going to be amazing. Along with releasing “Tinsel Heart,” making my publishing announcement, and participating in NaNoWriMo, I’m sure more unexpected highlights are waiting for me.