Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From the Vampires of the World bundle! Where we get to the origins of the legend, Transylvania itself! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kari Kilgore!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in my native Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, though I grew up and have lived all over the place. Our house is at the end of a long dirt road on 250 forested acres, with dogs, cats, and wildlife my husband Jason Adams and I are better off not knowing too much about.

Why do you write?

The truest answer is so I can find out what happens. Once a what if… takes root in my mind, some part of me can’t rest until I know how it turns out. It really is a turbocharged form of reading.

When did you start writing?

I remember telling myself elaborate stories when I was bored as a kid, even before grade school, and directing the other neighborhood kids in dramatic story adventures when we played outside. I first remember using written words for stories pretty much as soon as I learned how. After years of life and other distractions, I focused on storytelling around 2014.

What genre(s) do you write?

All over the place! The best way I’ve found to describe it is genre agnostic speculative fiction. I rarely write anything that stays here and now in the normal world. I’ve ranged from science fiction to steampunk to ghost stories. A whole lot of what I write fits into magic realism, often called contemporary fantasy.

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

My main goal is to have fun and tell myself the story. After that, I love to share it with others. Right now, that means continuing to build up my catalog and practice as much as I possibly can. I’m definitely an indie when it comes to novels, but I submit short stories and novellas to traditional magazines regularly.

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

Write the next thing. I heard Hugh Howey say that ages ago, and I’ve returned to it frequently ever since.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser for sure. Outlines grind me to a halt, every time. Once I get into a story and the characters are in charge, I can write very fast. Several thousand words a day, straight through to the end. I’d like to do that more consistently.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

Until Death started out during a horror writers workshop in Transylvania back in 2015. One of the first writing prompts was to focus on our setting and write for twenty minutes or so. I started with the stray dogs barking outside our mountain inn, and the character Leo showed up right away. That turned out to be the opening of the novel, almost word for word.

I submitted Until Death for the Bram Stoker Awards for First Novel, and much to my surprise and delight, it was one of the ten included on the preliminary ballot after the first round of voting. Since as an indie I have a publicity department of ME, I was thrilled! The whole experience was great fun, and I made a bunch of friends along the way.

Rather than accidentally giving spoilers, here’s the blurb:

Leo Sabov never imagined a day without his beloved wife Maria. Now he faces the rest of his life alone.

After bringing Maria to rest in her native Transylvania, Leo only wants to escape the rumors and superstitions taking over the tiny mountain village.

A former Communist Party boss, a string of unexplainable deaths, and an ancient mama dog force him into mysteries he can’t understand or explain.

Will Leo survive a test even greater than the heartbreaking death of his wife, one with life or death consequences?

Tell us about your latest book

The latest book I published was an Appalachian ghost story called Songs in the Mountain. It’s inspired by and based on the coal mining region where I live. I combined a few towns, conjured a mystery, and set about finding out what happened next. It’s also the closest thing I’ve written to a romance so far, despite the body count.

Hartstown, Virginia, holds stunning natural beauty
and a close-knit mountain community. Deep in the heart of Appalachian coal country, Hartstown also suffers more than its fair share of tragedy. 

Beth Azen discovers a strange ability that leads her deep into the ancient mysteries of the mountains around her. Mark Hersch finds more than he 
ever imagined on his lifelong quest to heal the damage left by decades of mining. 

Together, they discover the deadly nature of true loneliness.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Absolutely! There will be a sequel to Until Death someday, and as usual, I’m looking forward to finding out how that goes. I’ll be publishing another novella this year, a contemporary fantasy set in Manhattan called Legacy of the Land. I’m wrapping up a post-apocalyptic series set here in Appalachia. And as always, more novels and short stories in progress. Folks can sign up to find out more at www.karikilgore.com or www.spiralpublishing.net. Hope to see you there!

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Writer Wednesday


So, as you can see, we have nice paperbacks, except the last one (the new one) still has some problems. So I’ll fix those (in the interior) and then I’ll send it live, long before the ebook goes live. At least on November 2 both will be available for your reading pleasure! 😉

I also uploaded another ebook, Axelle ap Kiaran, and I wasn’t very happy with it until Mighty Editor returned it, saying it was her favorite so far! You can never guess what actually is good or not – what you love, people may hate and what you hate, people may love. Writers are still the worst judges of their work! 😉

I should do a paperback of that one too, but since pricing has changed in the past five years, I’m postponing to next year all POD changes and experiments. I have also updated (read: lowered) some ebook prices to match the new suggested prices – only 13 titles out of 160, thank God! 😀

I wish things didn’t change so fast and that they settled for a while! I have new projects, printed projects for next year, and I really don’t know what I’m supposed to price anything anymore! 😦 The sale went meh, I hope the bundle sales will go better. There’s one coming up for Sci-fi July, so stay tuned.

Speaking of bundles, it’s the bundles month. I’m in 4 new bundles (including the one I curated about Vampires of the World) and two more in November. New year, I will curate more, but I’d love to catch up on some reading before then! I’m still on my first curated bundle that came out last May and will go away Dec. 1st…

I’m still a little behind in writing the new stories, but I hope to catch up soon. I have another marketing weekend coming up, but I think that for November the bundle will be enough of a discount without looking for other titles to discount. And in December we’ll see. Since this marketing stuff takes so much of my energy, I don’t know for how long I’ll keep going! 😉

If you’re interested, there’s another Storybundle offer of NaNoWriMo books. Considering that I still have a few to read from past bundles, I think I’ll pass, but I’ll order one of those in paper – or better, I’ve put it on my Christmas Wishlist, so they’d gift me something useful! 😉

I prefer reading non-fiction on paper anyway, because it’s easier to refer to things that searching on my Kindle. I love KK, but only for fiction and bundles of fiction. Comics and non-fiction are still in paper for me.

Back to finishing the next story! And the Fantasy Online Workshop! I wish I could afford another offline workshop, but I’m aiming for 2020, when hopefully things have either calmed down or blown up completely! 😉 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And August is gone too, can you believe it? Wordcount for August is 40K or novel #3 of the challenge that will probably come out in October.

Now I’m checking #1 with the feedback I got. I really need to find more first readers, or better, to find a new one who is as fast as my offline beta who soon won’t be available anymore *sniff* but I will make a more open request when I have other things to read! 😉

And yes, I’m in another bundle, More Than Human, so that makes a total of four, currently. And soon I’ll start curating my third bundle, which will be my fifth – and I still need to finish reading the first one that came out back in May, sigh. Anyway, here are the bundles that I’m currently in:

First Glimpse of Fantasy Secondary Worlds

Sci-fi July Fever Fun

Love Magik Glow

More Than Human

You may notice it’s four different books, but in fact the last two are the same. One curator wanted the whole trilogy, the other took only book 1. But it’s always Kol-ian on the cover, either drawn by Phoenixlu, or by Cristina Fabris.

The next bundle I curate will have vampires, so if you’re indie and you have a vampire novel, please join BundleRabbit so I can include you! 😉 And Joleene Naylor, get ready for the request! 😉 Might hope for some help for covers as well, Mighty Jo? 😉

And now some writerly links! 😀 5 ways to use Facebook pinned posts – I currently have my newsletter sign up in English and Italian pinned, but maybe I should pin new releases every now and then.

Like, the important ones that require pre-order. Like the one I’ll set up in September for a Nov.2 release… Shashank the Fledgling! 😀 But that’s marketing, and I’m not doing the marketing weekend yet, haha!

A simple solution for when your story hits a wall. I’ve had project blocks so I know what he’s talking about! 😉 Don’t be afraid to throw away lines or scenes that don’t work. You might keep them as special content for your true fans or your newsletter subscribers! I have such thing for an upcoming story, but I probably won’t put the deleted scenes in the newsletter. Maybe in another project percolating… stay tuned! 😀

September is also the month I get back to work on paperbacks. Because I hate ordering stuff during the summer, even if I use UPS, but my parents are away and they tend to show up in the morning. As soon as my parents come back from Tuscany, I can start ordering proofs! 😉

And if you’re wondering about the value of a paperbacks, well… I’ve given away dozens now (the ones I couldn’t sell I gave away either through Goodreads, Bookcrossing or whatever means I could find to get rid of them – no more shelf space at home), so hopefully someone will find me through those proofs sent wandering through the world…

I plan on doing other experiments with paper books this last quarter, and then maybe next year start exploring audio books. I just can’t wrap my head around those, because I don’t understand how one would want to listen to a book instead of reading it (unless one is vision-impaired, that is). But then, I get distracted easily when people talk, so…

And let’s not forget 7 Reasons to Smile When Your Book Is Not a Bestseller *waves* none of mine is, but I keep forging ahead. Although I should probably stop and look back, which is what I plan to do on those dreaded Marketing Weekends that await me… brrrr!!

Have a great week! 😀

Sunday Surprise


Surprise! There was no post on Friday! No ramblings, nothing! Did you miss it? Of course not, who would miss an old lady’s rambings? A 50something who colors her hair blue like Pinocchio’s faery? 😉

Anyway… Wondering why? Well, it was my birthday and I was busy celebrating mourning another year gone by. And the color leaving my hair as well. I’ll probably cut it next week, LOL!

birthday girl

But! Life goes on! And more bundles come out! Yay!

*bangs head on table* my TBR pile will never ever ever go down! *moans*

Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you More Than Human, curated by most excellent A.L. Butcher which of course includes yours truly along with other great authors… find it now at BundleRabbit and other retailers! 🙂

11 tales of elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and… more! Stay tuned…

And some wisdom on work – I mean creative work, not the darn Dayjob, LOL!

“Work cures everything.” Henri Matisse

“The fact that people who create are good workers tends to be lost.” Abraham Maslow

“Luck is the by-product of busting your fanny.” Don Sutton

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” Emile Zola

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Gustave Flaubert

(copied from Colleen Doran – support her on Patreon!) Have a great Sunday! 🙂

 

Random Friday


Mostly about writing, since while I was away all hell broke loose at Mighty Zon! 😉 Just kidding, but here are two links from two authors who had problems with KU and Amazon policies. A romance writer leaving KU and David Gaughran’s missed planned promo.

Readers, especially voracious romance readers, please take action like Krista suggests:

So, dear reader, unfortunately, I have to leave Kindle Unlimited.

I hate doing this to you. If you want me to come back, tell Amazon. Tell them that they are not providing a good customer experience. Tell them that you want authors to be paid fairly. Tell them to get a grip on their business and not let fake books take all the money from real authors.

Email Jeff Bezos himself. (jeff@amazon.com)

If you want to help me, tell a friend about my books. Tell them I’ll be on iBooks now.

Aaaand, on a happier note, voting on the Amaranthine fan fiction (including yours truly) is open! Go vote, it’s anonymous! 🙂 I’m not telling you which is my favorite, but please note it’s not mine! 😉 Great stories, all! 😀

I subscribed to  the Maim Your Characters email course after reading the umpteenth writing tips of mistakes to avoid when injuring fictional characters.  Now I’m going to use the current work for the homework, since us Sadist Authors love to hurt our characters, don’t we? 🙂

Oh, and I found out by pure chance that Love Magik Glow is on sale… but I don’t know for how long, since the curator didn’t answer my query. I think the sale is valid also for the retailers, not just Bundle Rabbit. That you should check every now and then, since new bundles keep popping up every day.

My TBR pile will never go down… Now I could ramble on some more, but I still have that novel to finish… so I’ll get back to writing! 😉

Closing with a very short gallery of Helsinki souvenirs… Have a great weekend! 😀

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Writer Wednesday


Ta-daan!

So yes, you can go and grab it now! On BundleRabbit or on the retailer you pre-ordered it! 🙂 Book trailer here, in case you missed it… I look forward to reading all those amazing books, but I’m still on the previous bundle and had to stop to read non-fiction for the current project. And have you seen how many bundles are available for your summer reads?

I’m also prepping flyers for Worldcon, even though the final calendar hasn’t reached my inbox yet. There you go, busy gal folding paper stuff… I printed 50, but I’ll display only 10 at my first panel, since only 20 can get the free bundle… look me up at Worldcon! 🙂

Wordcount for June was 63K. Currently working on the July novel and since it’s historical fantasy, I have a batch of books to read and some quick Wikipedia checks every now and then. But my paper books pile is going down (I prefer non-fiction on paper)…

of these 3 – 2 are read and the third can wait, yay! 🙂

Some writerly links! 12 truths about publishing – if you want a writing career, that is. Customize your produtcivity to fit your life – for those of you who still have trouble finding time to write. I have a part-time day job and Monday I didn’t write a word of fiction, but I didn’t panic. I usually catch up on weekends (Sunday night I had already 20K in the new novel)… 😉

Some thoughts on writing a scene because terrible minds sometimes say absolute truth, like #0 says

As always, writing advice is bullshit, but bullshit can be fertilizer. Maybe this page of scene-writing advice helps something grow in your narrative garden, or maybe it’s just something to shovel out of the way. Use or discard at your leisure.

And ways to stay motivated in this shit-shellacked era of epic stupid because you never have enough motivation do you? I know I can beat Mr Procrastination if I put my mind to it, but can you? 😉

Now I better go back to writing. 18th century stuff… but ideas keep bouncing in my head like popcorn kittens! Have a great week! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! 😉

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind the  paid wall! 🙂 I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! 😉

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! 😉 Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

Writer Wednesday


Okay, where do I start from? Apple lateness? Kobo slowness? DriveThru bundles? Okay, I got the email from D2D that the Snippets finally went live on Apple (US i-bookstore), so yay! 🙂 But I don’t have much hope for the titles uploaded during the weekend…

Let’s start with the new and last release in English for this year: Saif’s Legacy. It’s now available on Smashwords, Kindle, B&N and Kobo. Apple probably next year – like I said, they’re backlogged, so I didn’t even try to send the Italian title (Technological Angel) there.

Saif’s Legacy is a Silvery Earth novella that I wrote in a week while in London and immediately after. Blurb: The southern kingdoms are no more, but the Assassins’ Guild is still there – honorable men who would never hurt women or children. Saif has been living as a woodcutter for fifteen years, but on his deathbed he calls for his former apprentice, Kilig. Saif’s legacy – his son Hakeem – will avenge him, and possibly mend Kilig’s broken heart.

If you’d like to wait, next year I’ll publish an anthology (with a much better cover) with all the male lovers of Silvery Earth stories. The cover is in the making, and hopefully in January it will come out. It will include The Death of Queen Amazonia, The Lords of War (included in TSK2 at this time), Saif’s Legacy, Allan de Sayek and a new story, The Young King. But this is the only one with a HEA, so grab it now if that’s your thing! 😉

Now, since the holidays are fast approaching and DriveThru allows me to do book bundles, I’ve done two. Books of the Immortals – all five e-books at a discounted price or Chronicles of the Varian Empire – all three books at a discounted price. Both bundles have a PDF, an e-pub and a mobi file you can choose from. You might need to be logged in to see the offer, since some books have adult content.

No names, no jackets closed down, so I took out the links to the free excerpts from the page above. Sniff. We’ll miss them. I might try to submit a few (not all) books to Bukfaze now. Maybe during the weekend, or maybe next year. I’ll keep you posted.

Writerly links: David Gaughran on Write. Publish. Repeat. The special price is gone, but it’s probably worth reading anyway. I downloaded the sample on my Kindle, it’s very entertaining, I’ll probably buy it next year, since we seem to be very likeminded. I wish my TBR pile went down a little (actually, since it’s ebooks, it’s a list. Neverending, if I add the wishlist from Smashwords and Goodreads. GAH!).

Dean Wesley Smith think like a publisher 2014. I’m still stuck with the 2011 edition because I can’t figure out the Italian laws. My publisher friend told me how I should do it, and I can’t do it until I have a DayJob. But since things are going down the hill on that front, I might end up quitting and starting da business of publishing instead. At least I’ll have a reason to ask a fee to whoever asks me for advice.

AssistanceAnd that’s all for today! Have a great week!

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