Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s another bundle author! Her book is the first in the bundle, and it’s a great fantasy romance with two damaged characters who can’t help falling in love… as the world falls down, like in the David Bowie song from the movie Labyrinth. Sorry, digressing. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Karen Abrahamson!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in a lovely small town on the west coast of Canada called Sechelt. I have a home near the ocean with an office that looks out onto a bird sanctuary and wetlands. It never snows much in this area, so the climate is lovely all year long. We have deer, bald eagles and whales as regular residents and bear in the spring and summer.
Although I have a great office, I actually do my first draft writing from an easy chair positioned so that I can watch the sunrise over the ocean. It’s the best way of all to start my days.

Why do you write?

Is there an option? I have always written. I started with poetry when I was in grade one or two and I’ve been writing ever since except for one hiatus when I threw myself into riding dressage horses. Writing is a comfort and a passion and chance to explore so many things. I think it’s also a way for me to share the things that I’ve seen in my travels across the world. I’ve done a lot of travelling and it is all fuel for writing, whether it’s the people, the culture or the environment. With the world changing so rapidly these days and feeling so much less safe, maybe the writing is also a commemoration of what was. That’s a sad thought.

When did you start writing?

As I mentioned above, I started in early grade school with poetry. I can recall writing stories when I was twelve, but I only started to look at the form seriously when I was an adult. About 20 years ago (my goodness that’s a while ago!), I started to put more effort into my writing and it was fifteen years ago that I got serious. That means that I gave myself permission to put my writing first every day.

What genre(s) do you write?

At the moment I’m writing mystery, but fantasy seems to creep in fairly regularly and I have enjoyed writing urban fantasy. When I need a relief from the dark places that those genres can take me, I enjoy writing romance—usually romantic suspense, sometimes paranormal romance—because who doesn’t need a happily ever after from time to time?

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

My goal is to make a living as a writer, or at least to supplement my income with my writing much more than I have. I try to write at least four novels a year plus a few short stories, but these days as an indie author, success requires a lot more than simply writing a good story. So I’m not only trying to improve my story craft through practice, but I’m also taking courses on social marketing—not my strong suit. I’m much more of the reclusive writer-type!

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

Write what you love. I know there are indie pundits who talk about analyzing the market and then writing to market and I know that is a good plan for making money, but the writing isn’t just about the money. Writing, for me, is about exploring the places and spaces that interest me. As a result I seem to write mash-up genres. My latest book, a novella published by Guardbridge Books, is a historical fantasy mystery—fantasy because one of the protagonists is a puppet, but the mystery is plainly real world.  The book I’m working on at the moment is a mystery set in an alternate history world.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Once upon a time when I started writing novels I was an outliner. I completed scene/chapter sheets for each book before I started to write. Then I’d sit down and start to write. The sheets were great, but what I found early on was that about half way through the manuscript the characters and story would take over and the ending was usually something I hadn’t envisioned. What those sheets did was seem to get me through the ‘muddle in the middle’ without stumbling. But gradually the story and characters took over earlier and earlier until now I write into the mist without an outline. The down side is that I often find myself throwing out 25,000 words or 50,000 words because I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. This isn’t that big an issue, because I’m a fairly fast writer when things are flowing.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The Crystal Courtesan is pure fantasy. It came to me as an idea out of an image of a woman with crystals all over her skin. I imagined that those crystals were actually the ‘evil’ drawn out of the men the courtesans were with, that were then extruded and crystalized on the courtesan’s skin. The Crystal Courtesan is about the last of her kind, who has hidden for years after a dark force overthrew the kingdom. It’s a love story, too.

Tell us about your latest book

As I mentioned above, my latest book is a lush historical fantasy mystery set in Burma/Myanmar in the early 1800s. It involves magical puppets, a murder that will have disastrous consequences for the puppet troupe, nature spirits, and courtly subterfuge. It is called Death By Effigy and is available as a paperback. I expect that the ebook version will be available shortly.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always. I have the second book in the Burmese Puppet mystery series already written and in the editing process. It is called A Death in Passing. Look for it in June/July.
There is a paranormal romance awaiting editing that involves a woman on the run and a Selkie that should be out in the late summer.
Finally, I am in the throes of completing the alternate history mystery that takes place in a world where the Ottoman Empire never fell. Instead the Ottomans overthrew Catherine the Great of Russia and the remains of Russia only exists in a small country caught between the Ottoman Empire and China. Of course, there are other impacts on the world, too. Like the American Revolution might have succeeded to a point, but the Anglo-German Empire settled most of North America…

Enter political subterfuge, the murder of a teenaged girl, and a jaded detective and that’s the premise of the story. I’m excited about the book, but it has to go to first readers and through the editing process before it will be ready for the public.

Other books planned for this year include a return to my urban fantasy Cartographer series. The second book in the Phoebe Clay mystery series is also planned. This time Phoebe takes on modern day Myanmar.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts and work!

_______________________

To find more of Karen’s fantasies, mysteries and romance visit her website

Goodreads

Twitter

Author Central

 

Random Friday


To complete May wordcount, I wrote another 5100 words in the last three days, so I’m pretty confident I can finish those three novels in three months. Here’s my prepping calendar with the (very few) trips on it – but then I’m the one who vanishes in the summer because it’s too hot to do anything besides writing at home, haha!

I watched Bamako and it’s an interesting take on Africa, with the trial within the story. They don’t often talk about themselves, so it was a window on that side of the world where  I’ll never go because it’s a warm country so it’s not on my map of travels (I really made a huge exception for India! 😉 But I’d move to a northern country anytime)…

It was a pleasure to see Aissa Maiga again (saw her in Bianco e Nero that I may have mentioned somewhere on this blog years ago – when one has such an old blog, it becomes a hassle to search things in it, LOL!), since she’s not only very talented, but also very beautiful IMHO.

I’ll have to make her a black princess on Silvery Earth sometime – maybe in the coming novel? Oh, wait, I do have a black warrior woman there… mmmm… Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


While cleaning the spam comments I found an old post of mine from 2010… Let’s see how things have changed since!

Anyway, here are my six:

1) Find an agent

2) Publish a novel (first step of MANY :-D)

3) Start the Silvery Earth web page

4) Become a best selling author in my genre

5) Write and publish all those Silvery Earth novels/stories/graphic novels (for that staircase, the sky is the limit! ;-))

6) Quit the day job and live of my writing (and I’m not greedy, I only want to be able to quit the day job).

#1 Nope. No thanks. No longer looking for that.

#2 Done. First of many as advertized. I started publishing in 2011, but I do not wish to count how many are novels or collections or whatnot. That’s almost 150 titles to check, so… just gone and done it! 😉

#3 Even better, I have Unicorn Productions web-page, with all the books in all the series and genres and languages and whatnot! Yay! This happened in 2015…

#4 Er… still working on that… And even though I definitely love SFF, I’m also tackling other genres lately, so… maybe I haven’t found my true calling yet! 😉

#5 Done and even added the Star Minds series and the Vampires Through the Centuries and the Body Switches

#6 Still working on that one too. By the way, I tinkered with the Patreon rewards again, since it was too complicated having tiers with the same amount. Would you prefer a Paypal Donate button? 😉

Moving on! Wordcount for May is 32K, not counting this week. I also spent almost a week doing non-writerly things so I’d be ready for the Novel Challenge starting tomorrow. So hopefully in the next three months I’ll write a lot more because a) I have a challenge and b) it’s the summer, it’s too hot to be outside, hence more time to stay in and write! 🙂

Last week I formatted all the ebooks that will come out this summer, did the covers and so on – I only have one story that will go to the proofreader on Monday and will come out in August, but I’ll tinker with that cover during the upcoming long weekend (June 2 is national holiday in Italy) and since it’s a novella, it won’t take me long to format it for publication.

Still two more authors’ interviews for the Fantasy bundle, then I’ll introduce the Sci-Fi bundle coming in July. Still waiting for Worldcon to let me know my schedule, but I hope to have a panel or three. At least I’m in the list of the Also Appearing now, yay! 🙂

Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


One more for the ride! And one more that I met in person! I am thrilled to have her onboard! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Debbie Mumford!

Where do you live and write from?

I make my home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the USA. Vancouver, Washington to be exact. No, not Vancouver, British Columbia, that’s in Canada, several hundred miles north of where I live. Vancouver, Washington is just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and in some ways, is a bedroom community to Portland.

As to the question of my writing, I don’t have an actual office. I write on a MacBook Pro laptop, sitting in my favorite chair in the living room … with my feet up. What can I say? I’m into comfort! With my body at ease, my mind is free to wander into other worlds and visit possibilities of existences other than our own.

Why do you write?

I’m an avid reader—I think most writers are—and I’ve always found myself saying, “Yes, but what if that happened?” At some point, I stopped wondering about nuances of other writers’ worlds and decided to create my own. It’s harder than you’d think, being the god of an imagined world, but at the same time, it’s exhilarating and freeing. When I’m really in the zone, I’m completely submerged in my story. Words rush from my subconscious through my fingers onto the screen without me being consciously aware of what I’ll write next. It’s like magic! Characters do things I hadn’t even dreamed of, and my surface mind wonders, “What will they do next?”

Ultimately, that’s why I write…to discover what happens next.

When did you start writing?

I can truthfully say that I wrote my first story before I could read. I dictated it to my mother and then illustrated it with crayon drawings!

Then came a LONG period of no writing other than school assignments and later, Christmas newsletters. I thought about writing often while I was raising my children, but time with them always took priority, so I didn’t truly start writing until my husband and I launched them out into the world. Then I sat down and wrote my first novel. I finished it, all 100,000 words, in a little over six-months and blithely sent it off to agents and editors, thoroughly expecting it to be snapped up immediately.

Yeah. Not so much. My novel was met with universal form letter rejections. I was so green, I didn’t even have a clue what I’d done wrong. At that point, I buckled down, found some writing mentors and began to learn my craft. Can anyone say “cart before the horse”? Definitely. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and at least I started and finished a novel and had the confidence to send it out. I also used the rejections as a goad instead of letting them defeat me.

What genre(s) do you write?

I’ve written a little bit of everything, but my main genre is fantasy. Romantic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, juvenile fantasy, if the genre has fantasy in the name, I’ve probably written it. I even write fantasy under a pen name. Deb Logan, my alter ego, writes contemporary fantasy for middle grade and teen readers.

Interestingly enough, Debbie Mumford writes her tales in third person, but Deb Logan always writes in first person. Yep. I can honestly say Deb is channeling my inner child!

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Dragons’ Choice, the first book in my ‘Sorcha’s Children’ series, tells the stories of Aislinn and Taran, dragon shifter siblings who set out into the world to discover their destinies. Aislinn and Taran are two of a clutch of six shifters who have grown to adulthood in the ice aerie of the dragons. This book chronicles their adventures as they explore the human side of their heritage.

Sorcha’s Heart is a novella that tells the tale of how dragon shifters came into existence. The novella is actually the prequel to the series.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

Remember how I said I write a little bit of everything? Well, my most recent release, Tales of Bygone Days, is a collection of historical fiction tales, three short stories and a novella. Two of the short stories are based on historical events, the third is a mystery, and the novella is a time-travel romance. See? Even in this limited collection, my writing is all over the map *lol*

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Interesting you should ask! I’m currently working on the final novel in the ‘Sorcha’s Children’ series. Dragons’ Destiny will tell the stories of the final pair of shifter siblings, Luag and Eibhlinn, and if I do say so myself, it’s shaping up to be the best tale yet.

Oh! In case you want it, my newsletter is here: http://eepurl.com/bTXLhX

_________________________

Random Friday


And it’s here! The Fantasy bundle is live!

Go get it on Bundle Rabbit or your favorite retailer (if you pre-ordered it, it should come to your device today)!

And to celebrate, please check this interview with the man without whom this wouldn’t have been possible: ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Heintzelman talking with Johanna Penn! I do mean The Johanna Penn! And if she suggests e-book bundling, you should listen! 😉 And it’s a podcast, so you can easily just listen to them talking (I admit I’d rather read, but that’s just me, LOL!)…

Now go get that bundle and spend the summer reading fantasy books… or at least a month until the next bundle comes out and takes you to space… 😉 Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! 🙂

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! 😉 I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? 😉 And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! 🙂 I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! 😀

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Happiness is…


harnessing all those ideas, LOL!

Sunday Surprise


We won’t have 12 interviews, but I’m still introducing you to the other authors in the upcoming bundle. Only 6 days until release, yay! In the meantime I managed to read a few of the bundle’s books and  his is a fun romp of magic schools and crazy gods (much like the ancient Greek gods of mythology) on Martir, where both the magic and the crazy gods are real! Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very proud to present you Timothy L. Cerepaka!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cherokee, Texas in the United States of America.

Why do you write?

Because writing is one of my favorite activities. It also helps that I’m making good money doing it, too.

When did you start writing?

When I was 12, so I’ve been writing for about a decade now.

What genre(s) do you write?

Under Timothy L. Cerepaka, I write epic fantasy/swords and sorcery. Under my Lucas Flint pen name, I write young adult superheroes.

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

My goal as a writer was to make a living, which I am currently doing. So I guess I’ve already achieved it.

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

Write to market. That advice helped me go from making mid three figures a month to making lower-to-mid four figures a month consistently.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m a discovery writer, which means I don’t use an outline. I’ve tried outlining in the past, but I just find it too much of a waste of time, time I’d much rather spend actually writing the book.
I’m a fast writer. One of my most recent books took me a mere 10 days to write, though my average is around two or three weeks, depending on the length of the book of course.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The Mages of Martir series (which The Mage’s Grave is the first book of) is actually a sequel series to my Prince Malock World series, which you can also find on Amazon and other retailers. You don’t need to have read any of the Prince Malock books in order to understand Mages of Martir, but you will understand the world and characters a lot better if you do.

Barb sez: I confirm you don’t need to have read the other books – I haven’t and I enjoyed The Mage’s Grave! 😉

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book is Powers, the second book in my newest superhero series, The Young Neos. I just uploaded it to Amazon and it still isn’t published yet, so I can’t give you a link, but it should be available for purchase soon.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! The third Young Neos book, Counterparts, is scheduled for a May 2017 release, while I have another superhero series that I will probably release in the fall, depending on how things go. I don’t want to say much about that series yet, however, except to say that it is unrelated to my current series.

On the fantasy front, I have a few ideas I am batting around, but my fantasy books don’t sell as well as my superhero books, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually writing any of these ideas. It may not be until 2018 that I put out another fantasy novel, but we’ll see.
______________________
Find him online

Timothy L. Cerepaka

My website
Join my mailing list and get two FREE ebooks!
Follow me on Twitter
Find my books on Goodreads

%d bloggers like this: