Writer Wednesday


And I wrote even less this week because I didn’t write at all during the weekend. I had programmed to go through a manuscript for a final pass and ended up with two because I finished the translation of Star Minds Next Generation, so I didn’t have any time left for new words.

Aaand I found minor mistakes again, sigh. So I even had to correct the original and upload the new version to all retailers. I’m back to the WiP now and hope to wrap it before the weekend, since next weekend I’ll have to check another couple of manuscripts before sending everything off to the editor.

I also did a couple of illustrations for Beautiful. After various attempts, I decided I’m going to illustrate Beautiful instead of the other shorter works I had in mind. Because I love Rithvik and Kerrien and I look forward to drawing them chibi stile. I have considered even a comic book version or a graphic novel, but that would take even longer.

So here’s a preview of what the illustrated version will be like – the original cover vs. the new cover (done quite quickly, so I may rework it before I put up the illustrated version).

And don’t ask me when it will be available, since I draw in my spare time and it’s not much at the moment, LOL! But it will be paperback only, since I’m not very good at adding images to e-books. So a special illustrated edition available only in paperback sometimes before the end of the year – I hope.

If you haven’t read Beautiful yet and would like to try it, it’s available also in the bundle Cats Cats Cats… just sayin’! 😉 There will be more cats in the current WiP, but I don’t know when it will be published, so in the meantime, you can get that bundle instead! 🙂 Have a great week!

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Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! She has a brand new book out! And she’s another fantasy author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome J. Elizabeth Vincent!

Where do you live and write from?

I live and write in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It’s such a beautiful area that I’m never lacking in inspiration from nature. We also have a thriving arts community that I treasure very much.

Why do you write?

Reading and telling stories has been something I’ve been passionate about since I can remember. Seeing someone’s face light up when they’ve read or heard one of my stories, when they can imagine themselves in it—well, there’s nothing quite like that feeling. I think most people need some sort of creative outlet, and writing is one of mine, probably my main one, as I’ve always felt connected to the power of words and what they can be used to create.

When did you start writing?

I’m not exactly sure, but I remember in high school deciding that writing was something I wanted to do. Between a particularly encouraging freshman English teacher and a best friend who couldn’t get enough of my stories, I was hooked.

What genre(s) do you write?

I will try just about anything, but my favorite genre to write is any kind of fantasy. I like the freedom of being able to rewrite the rules of reality while still having the boundaries of the way “people”—be they elves, monsters, or humans—relate to each other. I’ve also written plenty of nonfiction, along with romance, suspense, poetry, and even horror.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I often write early in the morning, around 5:30 a.m. My full house is quiet then, and I haven’t yet allowed anything but the story enter my overcrowded mind. I write for one to two hours before starting the rest of my day, which includes working as a freelance editor and designer and homeschooling my three children.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

When it comes to fiction, I’ve found a way to make the words flow in a way that’s easy to read and very natural. I believe that comes from years of reading and editing for others. I think the biggest help is just writing through, practicing my craft as much as I can.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I find inspiration everywhere, especially in nature, but I also find inspiration from art, books, and television. For example, one night I was brainstorming story ideas, and I thought how cool it would be if there were a superhero like Jessica Jones but with wings and set in a fantasy world. However, when Mariah, the character who came from that idea, grew, she became something much different and developed a unique personality all her own.

I don’t often put myself in my writing. Like many people, I find myself kind of boring, but sometimes I’ll pick out a particularly juicy or odd element or thought from my life and grow an idea from that seed.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I do a muddy mix of both outlining and flying by the seat of my pants. I often start with some kind of outline, but I usually don’t stick to it to the letter because once I’m in the zone, the story starts to write itself. However, when I get stuck or feel like something is not working, I’ll go back to the outline, reworking things until the story feels better.

As far as speed goes, it all depends on the day or week. When there is a lot going on with my family or freelance business, my writing slows down, but when those things are slower or more even, I get a lot more words in.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published) + indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

My latest book was actually my debut novel. I also have two nonfiction books published under my real name and a couple of short stories published under my pen name.

Raven Thrall (Legends of the Ceo San: Book 1) tells the story of a girl with wings who has been sheltered all her life, only to be suddenly driven from her home and everything she knows. Years later, she finds herself locked in a struggle with her own identity when she is asked to return to her homeland, where her kind is still persecuted, to help another young family facing slavery because of their special gifts. In her quest, Mariah must decide between doing what is safe and doing what is right.

I decided to self-publish my second nonfiction book along with Raven Thrall for many reasons. One was that I prefer the creative control and the ability to oversee every step of the publishing process, from story building to price setting. Also, having worked in the publishing industry in one form or another for the last twenty years and with constant self-education, I felt confident that I could do a good job on my own or at least that I knew how to find the right people to help me.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, I have three works in progress. Healer’s Sacrifice is a prequel novella set in the Legends of the Ceo San world. It’s very close to being finished. I have also started Book 2 of the Legends of the Ceo San series, which is tentatively titled Revelation of the Dragon. I’m also working on a third draft of an urban fantasy/lesbian paranormal romance novel called Blood Mastery. I actually finished the first draft of Blood Mastery before I wrote Raven Thrall, but it’s been my biggest challenge, and I’m still working on getting that one right before bringing it to my readers.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Honestly, my goal as a writer is and has always been to entertain (with fiction) and to educate (with nonfiction). If I can help someone have a better day by giving them a fun read or by offering them some new information, it makes me happy. Personally, I want to make writing a large part of the way I make a living as well, so I plan to keep writing books as long as it makes me and my readers happy.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

When I was 16, I wrote to my favorite author, whose books are still a source of inspiration for me. Stephen R. Donaldson was kind enough to write me back. He gave me the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten, although it took me almost 30 years to apply it. His advice was to apply the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and write.

I’ve learned that writing consistently not only gets the job done but that the act of writing makes you a better writer, just like practicing dance makes you a better dancer. You can’t expect to be a good writer if you only practice once or twice a year or when you feel like it. Writing every day (or as close as you can manage) hones your writing muscles. It teaches you that the blank page is not an obstacle. It teaches you that you can write when you’re mildly sick, when you’re not in the best mood, and when the muses are giving you nothing but drivel. You sit and write like you go to work every day. It’s a job, and some days are better than others. Thankfully, with writing, you usually get at least one chance to go back and polish or even redo it, but you can’t do that until you get it on the page to begin with.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Barb!

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Raven Thrall will be free on Amazon Kindle from Monday, May 21, 2018 at 12:00 am PDT to Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11:59 PM PDT!

Fantasy & Urban Fantasy Author J. Elizabeth Vincent

Website: https://jelizabethvincent.com

Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/jelizabethvincent/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j.elizabeth.vincent/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Fiction_Editor

 

Random Friday


Before starting my two-weeks vacation break, I decided to use my Paypal balance to get myself new hoodies for next year Worldcon. The old one I had made in 2012 is no longer white and shiny, it’s high time for new garbs.

So off to Zazzle I went! I found the hoodies with new colors and odered 2, one with the same writing as the old one (Silvery Earth Fan) and the other with “Star Minds Universe a Science Fantasy Saga”. They said in a couple of weeks I should get them, which was perfect. There were a couple of bank holidays, but they weer Italian holidays and Zazzle is American.

So I happily hit that Buy! button and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The parcel was shipped April 24, three days after I placed my order, which is perfectly on time – gotta give them time to prepare the hoodies, right?

Then from April 25 to May 5 it was stuck somewhere in the US. Reached Europe on the 5th, shipped to SDA Poste Italiane on the 10th. Spent 5 days in Milan, then finally reached me on the 16th. Talk about 6-8 business days! 😦 3 full weeks! 😦

Anyhow, they’re here now, and since this May isn’t too warm yet, I’m using them already. They’re lighter than the old one and the logo is printed, not stitched. I plan to take them to 20Books Edinburgh (end of July 2019) and Worldcon Dublin (mid-August 2019) – if only the two events were closer, I’d spend the whole time in England and Ireland, but it would mean four weeks away from home and I can’t afford that.

The pink one is very flashy, so you’ll be able to see me from far away! Here’s a before-and-after pic – Chicon 2012 vs. future worldcons.

That’s all for today’s randomness… have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Even though last week I wrote less than 10K (in between projects it’s normal), I have still accumulated enough to be on track to reach my 500K goal. Now working into turning an 8K story into a novella for Tor and having fun exploring a new fantasy world! 🙂

If you’re still wondering how to do it, here Dean explains what it means to cycle and create clean first drafts. My process is slightly different, but having spent one year in rewriting hell with Books of the Immortals – Air (about 10 years ago), I went back to being a one-draft writer since.

My critical voice never managed to grow. I’ve been writing mostly single drafts  for forty years now, and even the few stories I rewrote are redrafts with more experience on my shoulders – or because I switched languages. I still read like a reader, which might slow my learning process, but I’m a slow reader and I want to enjoy the experience, not study how others did it.

So I do a first clean draft and leave it alone before sending it off to the proofreader because I want to go back to it and experience it as a reader. I might tweak things here and there, usually plot stuff or adding forgotten setting descriptions, but it’s definitely NOT a rewrite.

That’s what works for me – even for The Fern and The Cross I only did minor tweaks (it had British spelling and was originally intended for a different pen name) before putting it on Kindle Scout and now on pre-order. If you were a scout, Amazon should have told you about it. It goes live on June 1st on all retailers.

What to write next? Chuck Wendig helps – sort of. Not a problem that I have, considering all the projects currently percolating in my head! But it’s good advice, so go check it.

Are ebooks dying or thriving? You decide. I love my Kindle for novels, but still read non-fiction and comics on paper. As for paying it forward, wait for more authors to be guests on this very blog! 🙂

I might also start newsletter swapping since the majority of my subscribers are okay with it. And I do trust my creative voice (like I said, my critical voice never fully developed – happens when you write in the age of the typewriter with no contacts with the outside world! ;)).

Now I only need to develop the 4 critical mindsets to make a living with writing! And there’s always time to start a writing career… cuz writing actually improves with age and life experience!

Oh, and if you couldn’t follow the live webinar on marketing by D2D and Reedsy, here’s the link! Have a great week! 😀

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!
Hello there! Tell me a little about yourself (name, age…)

S’pose it can’t hurt. My name is Pierce Landcross, and I’m . . . how should I bloody say it? One who has fallen out of favor with the law. I’ve been told I’m the most wanted thief in England. It seems ’about right, considering I tried stealing from Queen Victoria inside her palace. I’m twenty-seven and have been scraping by my whole life with no real direction on the horizon.

I like it! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Ten words, eh? Right. I measure up to around five-eight in height, slender build, with shoulder length hair, green eyes, a nasty scar across my throat and a brand mark of a figure-eight on my chest. Long story.

Okay… Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Bloody hell, where do I begin answering this one? Being a thief, a smuggler, and all-around troublemaker, I haven’t left many mates in my wake. One enemy of mine, in particular, is a German named Volker Jäger. He was once a general in Hamburg where I attempted to highway rob a friend of the mayor. Ol’ Volker was assigned to find me, but with some help, I managed to escape. Volker was discharged shortly after and has been hunting for me since to redeem himself.

Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Unfortunately, killing comes with the territory of being a fugitive. *Sighs deeply* I’m not proud of the lives I’ve taken, but nor do I regret it, especially when it comes down to taking out those threatening people I care for. It drives me to act whenever a loved one is in danger, it’s just who I am. I once offered the Queen my life for my folk’s when they were imprisoned at Newgate Prison. Which, I might add, turned out utterly different from what I had expected. I bloody swear these one-eighties that keep happening to me is truly the story of my bleedin’ life.

Where do you live?

My world is one heading steadfast toward the next new cycle of the human existence. Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, there has been this strive to invent and bring about new gadgets and machinery by inventors known as Contributors. These sods are working their way up to the peak to this steam-powered age to reach the new era, The Age of the Machine. Whether it’ll actually occur or not is anyone’s guess, but I’ve seen a thing or two to not discredit that such a stage will come. As of where I live, it depends on where I am. Other than being a hunted outlaw, I’m a wanderer by nature. My brother and I grew up with my folks who traveled with Gypsies until Joaquin and me got separated from them in Abney Park in London. Afterward, we roamed about, trying to find them. We never did, and all we achieved was becoming common criminals.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

Aye. I managed to find someone, and surprisingly enough, she loves me as much as I love her. Her name is Taisia Kuzentsov, a Russian lass who grew up performing in the circus before setting off on her own to explore Europe. Tai is very brave who can hold her own in the face of danger and believe me, we’ve encountered our fair share. She’s also a protector who has no quarrel about putting herself in harm’s way to keep her loved safe. When I look at her, her beauty completely undoes me sometimes.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Staying alive, mostly. To tell the truth, I suspect I’m cursed. It seems that every time I bloody well peer my head up for a single moment, something happens and I wind up in another life-threatening adventure.

Heh. Authors tend to do that to their characters. Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

Aye. My mum, Nona, dad, Jasper, and my grandmother, Élie Fey. As I mentioned before, my brother and I were raised by Gypsies. Taisia actually came across my folks during her travels and joined up with them on theirs. My family is a pretty unique bunch. Mum is the person in charge of the family. S’pose her assertiveness comes from her father, who’s a forest elf living in the Netherlands. Dad also has his own special bloodlines and Grandmother Fey is an enchantress. My brother, Joaquin, is an outlaw like me, doing what does to keep on living.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I talked about the bloodlines in my family. I’ve inherited these, which doesn’t make me into any superhuman, or anything, but it has made me a target for a witch named Freya Bates, who has this grand plan that no one knows about and for some reason or another she needs me dead to achieve it. Like I said, earlier, I’m cursed.

Nah, I’m sure you’ll survive! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Interesting question. Erm, s’pose if you were to ask me what I’d like to do other than be a thief, I’d say be an English professor. Aye, stop your laughing now, even though I sound like a hick, I’m very well-read. I love books, you see, and teaching literature would give me a chance to explore more deeply into the novels I’ve read while enlightening others.

The other question would be what’s all is in store for me. A lot, actually! Grandmother Fey used to be a fortuneteller of sorts. She once told me each life has many paths that lead in different directions. No one can truly see into the future because the future is always changing. I dunno my whole story yet, but I can tell you it involves me traveling through the Netherlands and following clues to a family inheritance, dealing with the Hellfire Club in Scotland, sailing to Sonora, Mexico with my mates, the Sea Warriors where I’ll be hunting for fugitives, a jailbreak in New Orleans, and returning to England to face my most feared enemies.

Okay, I guess we’re done with the gentleman… hello there, milady! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Clover Alice Norwich, and I’m ten years old. I am the daughter of a terrible man, Lord Tarquin Norwich, and sister to Archie Norwich. I write fantasy stories and hope to become an established author one day.

Oh, cool! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I’m tall for my age, with red wine-colored hair, dark brown eyes, with some freckles sprinkled over my face.

What is your role in the story?

Mainly I get the boys out of trouble. Father had ordered Archie and me to travel to France to capture Mr. Pierce and bring him back to Southampton where he could be questioned about the Toymaker, Mr. Indigo Peachtree. That plan fails when Mr. Pierce is saved by the Sea Warriors during our crossing over the Channel. After that, I use my crafty planning to keep us three alive while we try finding Mr. Peachtree.

Way to go, girl! What is your relationship with the protagonist(s)?

Like I said, Archie is my brother. My older brother, who is caught between obeying our ruthless father while trying to find a way for us to escape him. Archie is a good brother. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Mr. Pierce is my friend, which didn’t start off that way, considering we were sent to catch him and bring him to Father.

I wish I had an elder brother too – only a twin sister and more sisters around here, sgrunt. Where do you live ?

I live in Southampton inside a stuffy old mansion. My life as a noble is very dull and unproductive. If it wasn’t for my writing, I’m awfully sure I’d go mad.

I bet you would! Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

*Giggles* No. I’m only ten, after all. Although, if I was years older, I’d marry Mr. Pierce. He’s very handsome and kind. He also likes reading which is very appealing to any writer.

Tee-hee! Indeed! He could become your first reader! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

I was kidnapped by Mr. Pierce’s older brother, Joaquin, and handed over to some bad people working for my father at his castle on the Isle of Wight. They didn’t know who I was, so they locked me in the dungeon. Never had I experienced such mistreatment nor I have been so frightened. I suppose the biggest challenge I face is acclimating to this exposure of cruelty.

Mean people. They shall be punished! Do you have a moral code?

Sure, I do. I have lots of them, I suppose.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I died once. I don’t want to go into details because it was a very dramatic experience for me, especially because of who shot me dead. But I crossed over to the other side and came back!

Color me impressed! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

How about what kind of books I write? My answer is fantasy stories where I cast myself as the protagonist and explore other types of worlds. Another question would be what are my plans for the future. I’d like to grow up and live in a quaint little cottage in the countryside and spend my days writing my stories and to travel the world, preferably with the man I love. *Giggle and blushes* Like Mr. Pierce.

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Book(s) in which the character appears and links

Legacy (vol.1) Legacy-The Reunion

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bNh8WQ

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2rzbm1v

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2f1iQq8

Legacy-The Reunion Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2HZOhwD

Full Series Synopsis: http://bit.ly/2vU7jxZ

Author’s Facebook: http://bit.ly/2fWq6BV

Michelle E. Lowe is the author of The Warning, Atlantic Pyramid, Cherished Thief, and Legacy. Children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour, and The Hex Hunt. Her works in progress are the continuations of Legacy. Currently, she lives in Lake Forest, California with husband Ben, and their two daughters.

Website: www.michellelowe.net

Facebook: Facebook.com/michelleloweauthor

Twitter: @MichelleLowe_7

 

RandomFriday


Since I don’t have news, I’m going to randomly spam you with Buy My Books. Because this is a writer’s blog, so why aren’t you buying my books? I’ve got books for most tastes, adults only or clean, and I enjoyed writing them, so please become my first 1000 True Fans and help me spread the word.

Did I mention you could, nay, should buy my books? Lots of e-books, some paperbacks and even bundles and box sets! And serieses (wow, big word! SERIESES! How serious is that?) Yes! More than one! Secondary world fantasy, science fantasy, historical fantasy and more!

Wait, I know I should mention something else to the Buy My Books Speech… I know! Just go buy my books! And spend the weekend reading them! Go now! Buy Links! Links a go-go! Whoot! Thank you!

Oh, and you can join my mailing list, of course… and follow this blog, which you already are, hello there! I shall conclude this random post with… you guessed it! Buy My Books!

P.S. This is a satirical post, in fact there are no buy links whatsoever. But if you’d like to support this writer, buy her books. There are links aplenty around here.

Thank you and have a nice weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I must say that writing 3 entwined books at the same time is a new and fun process for me. I should have done the same with the vampires novels, but well… too late for that! 😉

The workshop on Writing Series was really helpful for this, so a big THANK YOU goes to Dean Wesley Smith! I used also the Teams (no longer available) and Writing Science Fiction workshops for this one.

I’m wrapping up these 3 books this week and then I’ll go back to shorter works for the rest of the month – I have promised one story to a charity anthology and I want to submit to Tor novella again (albeit in the July window).

Kindle Scout results! As expected, I wasn’t chosen, hence in June you will have the first new title of the year, my historical novel The Fern and The Cross. I shall set up the pre-order next weekend, since I’m afraid at the end of the month Kindle Scout might vanish completely.

Thank you to anyone who nominated me, you will be notified through KindleScout when the (e-book first) comes out. I’ll do the paperback after the summer. Or you can keep following this very blog, haha! 😀

Writerly links! David Gaughran is still everywhere, I wonder if he’ll show up at Dublin 2019 worldcon next year! 😉 Guest on D2D blog, platform building and related terrors. And on Joanna Penn’s blog, someone talks about his book Strangers to Superfans.

Speaking of Dublin and Worldcon, I filled the form to be on the programme. Soon I’ll fill also the programme suggestions form… we’ll see where that takes us! 🙂

Oh, and… Happy Birthday, Smashwords! 😀 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


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