Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, take your pick and go WOW! Have a great Sunday!

But if you don’t write, the world will never know what you might have done.
I realized back then that I had to take complete responsibility for my writing.
I had to set up times to write.  I needed to make sure that I stayed on task.
I hoped that someday I would get fan mail from readers who would be eager for my next book, and maybe that would help inspire me, but I knew that that day would never come unless I practiced my craft, all alone, with no audience but me.
Over the past few years, that realization has grown.  And you don’t have to just write the novels, you have to sell them.
Your publisher cares whether you sell, of course, but not nearly as much as you do.  It’s like horse racing, where you’ve only got one little horse.  The publisher might be backing you, but he’s got dozens of horses all in the same race.
His chances of winning are excellent.
So we have to take responsibility for our writing—not just for writing our own novels, but for editing them, writing the blurbs that sell them, getting cover quotes, and marketing them both in person and on the web.
Yes, agents and editors may help, but ultimately we must be responsible.  Writing a book is only part of the job.  It may take a couple of months.  But promoting a book well can require years.

David Farland

The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.

– Richard Price

The key there is: I cannot be pinned by expectation.

Some people think outlining a book robs the book of its magic. Some people think the business kills the joy of making words and creating art. But for me, the great thing that will siphon the joy out of what I do — the pesticide that murders the butterflies flitting about in the dark shrubbery that is my heart — is expectation. Not my expectation. But yours.

And now we come full circle because once again, I say:

Nobody wants you to be an artist.

Not the people who love you. Not the people who hate you. Not the people who don’t know one whit about you. Nobody wants that for you or your life.

I want you to think about that for a moment.

I want you to focus on that for a moment.

Take the idea like a pebble or a pearl, tuck it in your mouth, swirl it around.

This is what that does for me:

When I sit down and I start to write, I take a secret thrill in what I’m doing. Because this is forbidden territory. This is verboten. Everyone has built a fence of expectation around what I’m doing and yet, here I am, having climbed the fence. I’m making art and the world doesn’t want me to make art. I’m in a secret garden stealing your vegetables. I’m traipsing about someone’s home in the dark while they sleep. I’m mixing potions. I’m making monsters. I’m tap-dancing on the edge of a cliff, and the world can watch me kick off my shoes, pirouette, and lift both middle fingers in the air with a smugly self-satisfied look on my big beardo face.

Chuck Wendig

But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.
Elizabeth Gilbert

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

– Stephen King

Violate conventions and you are marked as an outsider. A rude outsider, at that.
Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If you want little, give little; if you want much, give much; if you want all, give all.
Matshona Dhliwayo

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Someone who dared asking  for it! And then answering the writerly questions! How cool is that? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jelterow Mckinnie, Jr.!
Why do you write?
To entertain readers – I want the reader to leave the story with a new way of thinking about something that is probably quite common.
When did you start writing?
At college – I had a very nice professor (Dr. Firestone) who was very generous in his reviews of my writings and he always encouraged me to save them and publish them one day. He always assured me that there was an audience for them, somewhere.
What genre(s) do you write?
Mostly fiction – however, I look forward to getting into more nonfiction one day.
What does your writing routine consist of?
I try to write at least one chapter of the book at a time. But, I do that over and over until the chapter is built up the way that I want it to be. For example, when I was writing Diary of a Teacher I went through each of the chapters and first put the things that I wanted to convey into them. The points that I want to get across. Sometimes, there will not even be characters – only the ideas that I want the reader to walk away with. Then once I’ve done that for all of the chapters – I go through the chapters again, this time putting in the conversations that I want to have take place and begin to put the main characters where they need to be. Then I’ll go back through the chapters and include the traits and tags that I want the characters to have and convey to the reader. This process continues over and over and over until I’ve added all the elements of the story needed to convey the message behind the story to the reader. So, I guess I’d say I write the story in layers!
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
My strengths are a God given vivid imagination and the God given ability to write the fiction in such a way that it seems and feels real to the reader.
I did not develop these qualities – God gave them to me and I thank Him and give Him all the praise for them, in Jesus Mighty Name!
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Sometimes I will see something strange or something quite practical and just let my imagination run away with me. Other times, while talking somebody will say something or I will say something and we agree that it would make a nice story. Most recently, on the current book I’m writing, Jairus, I was listening to Kenneth Copeland preaching about developing your faith and he was speaking about how God had him visualize how determined both Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood were to get through that crowd to Jesus. Then, praise God the Lord allowed me to have the idea to put it into a story so that those struggling to visualize it on their own could.
I don’t put myself into the stories too often; but on occasion I have. What I do is merge various people’s personality traits and create the character that I want or need for the story to move along. However, Live, Laugh, and Love the Golden Moments of Life does have a lot of myself in it; primarily because it is about my grandfather and I – all the fun we had in Liberty City (Miami, Florida).
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Outliner – the last time I tried it the other way I reached halfway and didn’t like the story.
Personally, I think I write slowly – but there are those who claim that I write very fast. At the end of the day it takes me about three months to finish a story that I’m diligently working on.
Tell us about your latest book (add link if published).
Currently I’m working on Jairus – this will be my first official piece of Christian Fiction and I pray that the Lord uses it to help people build their faith! The book will provide the back story for the miracle that took place for Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. After all, Jairus was a Pharisees in charge of a synagogue at a time when most of the Pharisees were against Jesus. Just how did he come to a point in his faith that he turned to Jesus for help and had enough faith to get the help for his daughter? Likewise – the woman with the issue of blood, what is here story? She’s important enough to include and she has very strong faith; but, she’s given no identity. People, to this day, wonder about who she is and what obstacles she had to overcome in her life. The book addresses these issues – it’s going to sell millions of copies!
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie – the technology supports it and I don’t have to go about the place begging somebody to publish me. The cost are a lot lower and Amazon’s reached the point where they can bring a print on demand paperback to market for under $10, which is a milestone! That said, one day the traditional publishers will reach out to me and we can definitely work some type of a deal at that time.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Spreading the Gospel – Jesus is Lord!
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Sell books! While praying the Lord instructed me to start asking for more author interviews and reviews – and I have; and praise God, you are one of the wonderful people facilitating my request; and, I thank you very much and pray that you are wonderfully blessed!
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Dr. Firestone’s advice to go ahead and do it!
Social Media: Google me (Jelterow Mckinnie, Jr.) – that’s probably the best way for the reader to use the method they like the most to get in touch with me.

Random Friday


And since I’m away, I’m going to introduce you to a guest! I found her through Goodreads and thought you might be interested in meeting someone else! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Claudie Arseneault!

Where do you live and write from?
I live in Quebec City, the capital of Canada’s majority French province. I’ve been here all my life, and English is a second language for me. I love my city, for all of its conservative faults. I think I see myself in a lot of its contradictions.

Why do you write?
Funnily enough, I recently wrote an entire guest post on this topic (it’s not up yet, but keep an eye on Ayah’s wonderful Why I Write series for it!). I won’t repeat all of those words here, but the short version is this: I write because it makes me feel like I belong. Writing allowed me to find my community. Writing reminds me that I am a professional, that I have found my path. Even when it is stressful and hard, writing is like coming home.

When did you start writing?
About ten years ago. At the time, it was a complement to my intense roleplaying habits. I ran games with a single player, and I wanted to write out the scenes between characters he didn’t witness. Then I heard of NaNoWriMo, got a sudden burst of inspiration, and after that first rush of creativity and fun, I could never go back.

What genre(s) do you write?
Fantasy is my main turf, although I tend to play around a lot in the genre. My latest novel, City of Strife, is a crossover between high fantasy and political fantasy, while one of my other projects is… steampunk-fantasy-ish. Without the steam. Kind of falls a lot into the kind of magic/technology mix you’d expect from the Tales of _____ series, or Final Fantasy. I do also write science-fiction, and when I do, it’s absolutely solarpunk—a community-driven, eco-conscious, hopeful subgenre. I love the subgenre enough to edit an entire anthology of solarpunk dragons, Wings of Renewal!

What does your writing routine consist of?
I don’t have one. I write whenever and wherever I can. This means I write on my cellphone in the bus to/from work, I write at a cat café in the city, I write after work on weekdays when my brain is half mush from the day’s labour… anything I can get done, I try to do it. I sit my ass in my chair and try to ignore twitter and social media until I have the strict minimum done. It is not always successful, but that’s okay. (I also do not necessarily recommend it? I have to watch myself because I will overwork myself if I’m not careful).

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
Characters. I have absolutely no qualms stating that: I’m good with characterization. A lot of it comes from all the roleplaying I did, and creating such a wide range of characters over the years. I pay a lot of attention to details when I build a character, and a lot of time thinking of silly things that are unrelated to the story, but that help me nail their personalities.
I also tend to build storylines that have a great many threads, and with practice, a lot of craft-studying, and trial and error, I’ve grown quite good at tying all of them into an epic ending. I like to think the last quarters of my books are the best part—that the payoff is worth it.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Everywhere. This isn’t a question I have a great answer for, really. I draw inspiration from other stories, from history, from things I feel aremissing from what I read. I used not to put much of myself in my writing, but now I do.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Outline. Gosh, I would have written myself into a corner a dozen times over without outlines. The degrees of precision I put into them varies a lot from one project to the next, but I always have a general outline before I start (typically, the ending is more vague, and I outline it as I get nearer). Although, really, I frequently end up ditching or redoing my outlines as I write, so it’s a little of both. But I never start without some basics down. I’m also definitely a fast writer. Not in terms of words/minute, but it terms of time I can and do put into it, yeah! I get through drafts fairly fast.

final-coverTell us about your latest book
Okay, here is the short version of the blurb:
Isandor, City of Spires.
Bickering merchant families vie for power through eccentric shows of wealth and brutal trading wars. Unspoken rules regulate their battles, but when an idealistic elven lord provokes the powerful Myrian Empire, all bets are off. They are outsiders, unbound by local customs, and no one knows how far they’ll take their magic to dominate the city. Nobles and commoners alike must fight to preserve their home, even if the struggle shatters friendships, destroys alliances, and changes them irrevocably.
City of Strife is the first installment of the City of Spires trilogy, a multi-layered political fantasy led by an all LGBTQIAP+ cast. Fans of complex  storylines criss-crossing one another, strong friendships and found families will find everything they need within these pages.
It is indeed published, and you can find it here on Amazon. The book’s page on my website also contains a list of trigger warnings and all other buy links. This universe has been with me since the very start of my writing, and I’m happy to share it at last!

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie all the way! I can’t even imagine going a traditional route. First, too much of it is still hostile to wide LGBTQIAP+ casts, and I don’t have time to waste arguing about the validity and existence of my characters, or being pressurized to add a romance. Second, indie publishing allows me to choose my contributors and encourage marginalized freelancers with my money. Third, I like being in control. I like leading projects from beginning to end, and earning every bit of those way-better royalties. I do wish I had a larger marketing reach, but I’m working on that too! I just created The Kraken Collective with fellow indies, a cooperative of QUILTBAG science fiction and fantasy! We share platforms, advice, and skills, leading to high-quality books and great times.

Any other projects in the pipeline?
The second book, haha. The City of Spires trilogy was conceived as a unit, and I want to get the second one out as fast as I can. Spare my readers the long years of wait between cliffhangers (there are some).
I do have another project besides that one, called Baker Thief, which is sort of a fantasy-mystery-romance, except instead of actual romance, you have the slow bound between an aromantic spectrum character and a demisexual one. There’s a lot of me in it—twins, French puns and sentences, a city that draws upon Québec’s history—and it gets quite tropey at times, which I love.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Two things: first, I want to provide a large array of stories in which the whole LGBTQIAP+ spectrum gets to play a part and be a hero. This is especially true of aromantic and asexual people, because these are also my stories, and I hope that through the body of work I can give voice to a large part of the spectrum. Second, I would love to earn a living with this? A lot? Hey, we can always dream. So I write or work on my projects almost every day, and I follow and listen to other marginalized voices, and hopefully as years go by things will get better.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Find the writing advice that applies to you. Seriously, every writer has a different process, and a lot of writing advice disregards that, especially when it comes to writers with disability. So, sure, try out the writing advice out there, but know that if it doesn’t work, it’s not you. You’re still a writer!
One that worked for me was: “open a blank document and rewrite.” This is a follow-up to the more common “your first draft is crap”, but it taught me not to be afraid to start over. My process changes between projects, but for novels, I will often scrap almost the entirety of the first draft. Because I need to reach the end to see the story as a whole. So I tend to rewrite with only a few looks at the first draft, from beginning to end. Even later in the project, I still apply that to entire scenes too. Sometimes it’s better to start from scratch. Scary and long, but better.

__________________

Claudie Arseneault is an asexual and aromantic-spectrum writer hailing from the very-French Québec City. Her long studies in biochemistry and immunology often sneak back into her science-fiction, and her love for sprawling casts invariably turns her novels into multi-storylined wonders. The most recent, City of Strife, comes out on February 22, 2017! Claudie is a founding member of The Kraken Collective and is well-known for her involvement in solarpunk, her database of aro and ace characters in speculative fiction, and her unending love of squids. Find out more on her website!

Sunday Surprise


redemption-final-smallREDEMPTION – A Many Lives Standalone Story
One of the best books I read this year. A tightly-woven tale of what it means to be redeemed by love ★★★★★” – Margo Bond Collins, NY Times bestselling author.
From New York Times bestselling author, Laxmi Hariharan, comes REDEMPTION the much anticipated next standalone story in the Many Lives Series. For fans of Nalini Singh and Christine Feehan. Experience a thrilling paranormal romance where shifters, vampires and immortals fight to save those they love.
Read REDEMPTION free in KU * 99c for limited only * here http://smarturl.it/RmptionLH
When differences threaten to tear fated mates apart
LEANA
I submit to no one—not even him.
Not till I was taken
Now a terrible emptiness tears me apart. For,
he’s just…gone
Will I see him again?
MIKHAIL
I never needed anyone
Then I met her, a cage fighter, my shifter. Mine.
The one I must protect
Now I want her. In my life, in my blood.
Her, only her.
Reclusive designer Mikhail Anton blames wolf-shifters for his memory loss, refusing to accept the signs that he is immortal. On meeting Leana Iyeroy, a cage-fighter and shifter, Mikhail is drawn to her in ways he can’t identify. And when vampires threaten Leana, he must acknowledge his abilities to rescue her from certain death. They must team up to save their city– before their differences destroy everything they love.
Read REDEMPTION free in KU & 99c for limited time here http://smarturl.it/RmptionLH

Hastings 1066 Fortnight


And last but not least the lady who started it all! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Steph Bennion!

Where do you live and write from?

I quit the big bad city of London last year and moved to Hastings on England’s south coast, so you can blame me for the idea of writing themed stories about the eponymous battle. This part of Sussex is known as ‘1066 Country’ and as you might expect there are all sorts of events planned to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Why do you write?

I write stories to scratch the itch that is the urge to create, but also with the hope that readers will be entertained! A big part of it is to pass on the love for the stories I read in my youth: books by Arthur C Clarke, Robert Heinlein and the other masters of science fiction.

When did you start writing?

I started writing and submitting short stories to various publications when I was in my teens, albeit with erratic success, so I’ve been at it for thirty years now. My first few novels were truly terrible and now live in a darkened drawer somewhere. I came close to giving up writing fiction and for a while concentrated on music instead (I was a songwriter and bassist in a weird folk-rock band), but then had an idea for a tongue-in-cheek adult fantasy novella which I managed to sell to a niche publisher. That royalty cheque gave me the boost I needed to persevere.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write mainly space opera on the hard sci-fi side, for young adults and adults young at heart. My Hollow Moon novels centre around working-class folk who find themselves battling the consequences of upheavals caused by those in power; stories of friendships and how people come together in times of need. I read a lot of science fiction and have a fondness for planet-hopping tales that keep the human element firmly in focus, preferably with a few spaceships thrown in. Science fiction at its best takes contemporary issues and shines new light on them outside their normal context, all against a background of adventure, mystery, humour and thrills. What more could you want?

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

I like to inject a dose of humour into my writing – not in a ‘comic novel’ way in the vein of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or the Space Captain Smith books, but space opera is often so overblown I find it hard to resist poking fun at science-fiction tropes or turning a plot device on its head. I like to think it makes the space opera I write a little bit different. What I will say is that comedy is deceptively hard to write.

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

My main goal is to complete the Hollow Moon series; by my latest reckoning there’s at least another two or three novels to write before the main story arc is concluded. I’m sure I’ll be distracted by other writing projects along the way…

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

Writing is a craft that can be learned: it’s important to read widely and study the masters. Oh, and don’t give up the day job…

What is your story around the Battle of Hastings about? How did you come up with the idea?

The Battles Of Hastings is taken from the journal of a headstrong young time traveller who, after she and fellow time travellers realise they each come from a future with a different past, embarks on a journey through multiple realities to try and put history right. While I was researching the events of 1066 it struck me how incredibly close King Harold of England came to winning the battle. Exploring this through a tale of parallel universes seemed the obvious way to go. The challenge for me as a science-fiction writer was that the second law of thermodynamics pretty much prohibits time travel into the past, but I still wanted to offer an explanation of how a time machine might work.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Time-traveller Jane Kennedy, the narrator of The Battles Of Hastings, also features in an unpublished novella of mine called Catastrophe Jane, which is set in an alternate-history version of my native Black Country during the industrial revolution. I never got to grips with the time-travel science in this earlier work and so put it to one side, but writing The Battles Of Hastings resolved many of the issues I had with this so hopefully there will be more of Jane’s adventures to come. I’m also tentatively outlining a synopsis for book four of my Hollow Moon series, as well as the usual festive tale for December. The seasonal short stories are generally sci-fi spoofs of classic fairy tales and a lot of fun to write!

Links

Facebook page

Goodreads author page

Amazon link

Website

The story above buy links

Martin Rinehart part 1


Barb: I’m away, so I’m leaving the blog in good hands! I want you all to welcome Martin Rinehart, author of the forthcoming Explicitly Sexy books. Tell us about your books.

Martin: It’s really just one novel. The story of three married women who want to have honeymoon-strength marriages. They meet after aerobics, twice a week for cocktails and girl talk, usually about their relationships, often about their sex lives. It’s about 240,000 words. A trilogy in print, an heptalogy in ebooks.

Barb: You were telling me about your characters writing their own dialog. Care to elaborate?

Martin: My first try I realized my characters were all talking the same way. I had about a third of a full-length novel but I threw it out. Took each character out for a nice long lunch and really focused on the way she spoke. Tried again. It was better.

After they each started speaking in their own voices I began getting the strange feeling that my characters were writing their own dialog. They were talking to each other and not paying much attention to me. I posted about this in a writers’ forum. The response was overwhelmingly, “Me too!” Seems that some characters will openly revolt and spoil your plot. “No,” she said, “I’d never do that. I’m not that type.”

Barb: So could I interview your characters?

Martin: Sure. Why don’t you talk to them right after the end of the novel. That ends on Friday, June 17, 2005. They’ll probably want to get together again the following Tuesday.

Barb: Unfortunately I’m not the one who is able to jump around time and space and chat with characters. It’s Samantha who does the interviews for this blog. So I shall let her take over if you don’t mind. And since it’s a nice long chat, let’s spread it out throughout the week, shall we?

Coming next: interview with the Explicitly Sexy heroines part 1 and part 2.

Martin’s book if you’d like an ARC.

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!

RC coverWelcome, guest! Tell me a little about yourself!

Hi, my name is Zahara Bakur. I’m fifteen years old, and I’m from New York City. I’m a Sunni Muslim, and I’m supposed to be entering my senior year of high school, but…well, things are complicated right now.

I don’t know why, but things on Earth are always complicated… *snort* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Average height and weight, light-brown skin, blonde hair (it used to be brown). Sorry, that’s longer than ten words, isn’t it?

It’s fine, you’re the first teen who doesn’t use twitter English! *grin* Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Um…I don’t really have anyone I would call my enemy. I mean, there are people I don’t like, but who doesn’t have someone like that? I guess if I did have an enemy though, it would probably be ignorance and bigotry. Ever since before the war, people have this tendency to believe the worst things about my faith, that we’re all out to kill ourselves and everyone around us. That’s simply not true, but I’ve had a heck of a time convincing people of that. So I guess that’s my answer.

People can be very nasty with someone who is even slightly different! Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Kill?! Allah, no! I’m the least nonviolent person ever, and I really don’t believe in the death penalty. But if I had to die for those I love…well, I’d rather that not happen, but if it was the only way and I really cared for someone, I guesss I might.

You’re great! Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

I used to live in New York City, but then my dad got a job in Reborn City and we moved there. We had a house in South Reborn, but these days I’m staying in West Reborn with the Hydras. I think it’s the safest place for me, truth be told. I know they’re gangsters, but they watch out for me, which is more than what I can say for anyone in South Reborn.

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

Relationship? Er, not anymore. I-I had a boyfriend in New York, but we broke up before I moved. And I’ve been too busy to really think about that sort of stuff since I got to Reborn City.

VR CS front coverA most interesting place, I’m sure! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Well, because of…certain reasons, I had to join the Hydras, a gang in West Reborn. I’m not gangster material, not at all, and I really hate the lifestyle, but until I pay my debt to Rip, the leader of my Head—that’s like a gang branch—I can’t leave. So I guess it’s just surviving the lifestyle day to day and trying to fulfill my debt, though how I do that I’m not sure.

Mmm… I’m sure you can manage… Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

*cries* I’m sorry, but…I just recently lost my mother and father, and I have no other family. As much as I hate to admit it, the West Reborn Hydras are the only family I have right now, so…*shrugs* It is what it is.

Family is family whether you chose it or it chose you! Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

*sniff*I don’t really have unusual about me. I guess I should go with the fact that I’m only fifteen (I’ll turn sixteen in September), but I’m already a senior in high school. I should be going to college next year, though with my life the way it is, who knows?

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

Um…I don’t know. I really don’t talk about myself like this. I’m just kind of flattered that anyone wants to talk to me about anything. Thanks, by the way. I really appreciate it.

You are very welcome! I wish you all the best!

_______________________________________

Where do you find this character

Reborn City:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reborn-City-Novel-Rami-Ungar/dp/1490446796

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reborn-city-rami-ungar/1117406933?ean=9781490446790

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reborn-city/id1113686134?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373309

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/reborn-city

Video Rage:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Video-Rage-Novel-Reborn-City-ebook/dp/B01F2Q75L8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/video-rage-rami-ungar/1123783687?ean=2940153014784

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/video-rage-a-novel/id1113499449?mt=11          

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/635604

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/video-rage-a-novel

Random Friday


Since I gave up on the challenge that should have ended today (started April 1, end should have been April 8) and spring is killing me (cool mornings hot lunch times, gaaaaaah), I thought I’d just sort of pass. About Kaylyn update, I’m about 17K in and the plot keeps changing under me, so I don’t think I’ll manage to finish it by the weekend, but hopefully by next week yes.

Just an announcement for a reading Friday. Grab this bundle while you can, it’s shorter reads (between 10K and 35K I’m told) that can keep you company when you have a short trip. And now I’m leaving you with the words of others – words of wisdom, writers on writing, call them what you want. I’m already tired from typing this, so I better use my energies to take Kaylyn to her next destination. Have a great weekend!

***

Things change in this industry every day.  If you’re like me, you probably find it bewildering at times.  But take heart.  Some things never change.  The most important thing that will never change is that books are magical containers for delivering stories and knowledge.  You create magic.
The industry will change – players will go out of business and others will rise and fall and rise again – but books will always remain.  Authors will always remain.  You are the captain of your personal adventure in publishing, and the course you chart is rife with opportunity.
(…)
Luck plays a factor as well, but only for those who implement best practices first.  Best practices prepare you to capture lightning in a bottle when luck strikes.  Luck strikes all the time.  It’s word of mouth.  It’s a blog post or a tweet or a Facebook mention or a review that recommends your book.
The books you have in you are important. Your books are important to the future of book culture and humanity.  Don’t let anyone or anything discourage you from putting your book out into the world.

Mark Coker

But if you want a career as a writer, if you don’t want to have a day job, if you only want to write, then it seems to me the safest path to take is the indie path. You’ll have more opportunity. You can work hard and publish a lot and make money doing so.
Will every indie writer make six-figures per year? Hell, no. Nor will every traditionally published writer. But what this particular Author Earnings report shows is that if you want the chance of making six-figures or more per year with your writing, the best publishing path is indie.
(Provided you continue to learn your craft, are a damn fine storyteller, have excellent covers, do the right amount of marketing… and on and on and on.)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I made a comment at some point over the last few days that bothered a number of people. I said I could always tell if a person was going to make it. I did not mean in their storytelling skills. I meant in their drive and persistence.
Anyone can learn how to tell a good story. Persistence over years is impossible to teach.

Making choices to write is always a key indicator. How often do you make the choice to write when others are doing something that sounds like fun?
Dean Wesley Smith

(On getting to the typewriter)… “For me, a lot of times the real barrier to get to work – to get to the typewriter or the word processor – comes before I get there. I had one of those days today where I thought to myself: “I’m not sure if I can do this.” I have a lot of days like that. I think it’s kind of funny really, that people think: “Well, you’re Stephen King, that doesn’t happen to you,” as if I wasn’t really the same as everybody else.”

Stephen King

In the past year, I’ve had so many friends feel burned out. Tapped out. Done. Finished. Writing became this chore that they had to do to keep up with… what? Financial obligations. Reader expectations. Personal goals….

When I start to get burned out, it’s usually because I haven’t had enough creative time. It’s because I’m focusing on the publishing and selling aspects of this business and not on the writing parts. I NEED the writing. It’s still my most-fun-thing. My escape. My happy place.

Elizabeth Hunter

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!

Soo! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Dii – Dii’Athella is the longer version. It’s elven. I’m told it means Flower of the Dawn. I’m about twenty-five summers – although I don’t know my exact age. I was taken from my true mother as an infant and given to a human family. They did not take me to raise me as their own, I was a Kept – a slave. I’m an elf – elves have no rights, no liberty, no justice in Eranan law.

Ugh. I already hate your world. Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Female, red hair, tattoos, elven, midnight blue eyes.

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

My Keeper Joset Tremayne. He’s the one who stole me from my mother’s arms. Although I do not know how my mother ended up in the Enclave. Joset used me….Please do not ask me the details. Let’s just say he’s very unpleasant, he’s cruel and unfeeling. He beats all his servants and slaves. By law he does nothing wrong. I was property – to be treated as he wished but surely property does not think, does not feel or hurt.

I am a sorceress – which made me doubly forbidden. The Order of Witch-Hunters rule the land, and by their law magic is illegal. Anyone caught using it can be taken and imprisoned or executed. There is no trial – I think that’s what you call it in your land. Magic is just there, it infuses the land, some people are born with it. Magic does not know it’s forbidden. How can it be forbidden – it just is. Like the sky, the sun, the moon and the gods.

I know exactly what you mean. I do have my own share of magic people of other worlds don’t understand. Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes. And yes.

So tell me more about your world.

I now live in Tremellic, which is a valley community at the far edge of Erana. The Jagged Peak mountains look upon us and the Shimmering Forest guards our border.

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

Lord Archos. He is kind, clever, powerful and charming. He’s an excellent lover, a courageous fighter and a shrewd businessman. He is also a mage, our magic met and now we are more powerful together. He loves me for what I am, what I was, and what I can be.

Sounds like a dream man! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Surviving.

I get a lot of answers like that, I wonder why… Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

Archos is my family, and his friend Olek. Olek is like the brother I never really had. Ozena lives with us too. She’s an elven huntress from a local elven community which was destroyed by slavers. It’s nice to have a female companion about the manor. My Keeper had a son – Ulric – who was sometimes kind to me. Mostly he was his father’s son and could not see me as anything more than a pretty dalliance, someone to warm his bed. He cared for his own pleasure, and the honour of their house. He was not a man. He was a child, and a petulant one at that.

Most men are – I think it’s called Peter Pan syndrome somewhere… Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I have a tattoo which spirals from my cheek to my thigh.

Whoa, neat! What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Oh gods, I do not know. Perhaps why I visit the Enclave in Varlek when I know it is a terrible place?

Varlek, one of the largest cities has an elven Enclave. I suppose in your world it would be called a ghetto. All elves must live there – unless they live in the house of their masters. It’s a terrible place, there is much disease and poverty. The Enclave is another tool of the Order of Witch-Hunters – to keep the humans and elves apart. Highlight our differences you might say. Elves and men are really not that different, there are a few cosmetic differences – elves have different ear shapes, we are slightly smaller and our features more pronounced. But elves and humans can interbreed – any child thereof is classed as a half-elf and subject to the restrictions of all elves. Even if it’s father is a lord of the land. Why did we visit the Enclave? Ozena’s sister was taken from Szendro, and often such elves end up in the Enclave, the slave markets or worse. As it happened the elves we found were not of Szendro. That’s another story – and you must read my adventures to find out who they are.

I’d not dare to enter the Enclave alone, but some humans do feel pity for the elves and bring medicine or extra food. Officially it’s not allowed but a starving, sick elf cannot work and besides disease can spread to the humans. The Witch-Hunter guards turn their eyes away if the payment is large enough. Money can buy freedom, of a sort. Or at least pity and mercy.

Archos tells me it depends on the particular guards – some turn aside. Others do not. Some of the merchants pay to the temple. The priestesses are allowed in the Enclave to give alms, bring herbs and prayers. I suppose it keeps order. Vestiges of the old religions linger and not even the Order often dare to defy the gods. It’s more, I think, they ignore it, or perhaps feel that angering the gods helps no one.

Any mage knows the gods are real, or at least were. Many do not walk the lands now, the magic is not as Powerful as once it was and so although the beliefs do linger they are often not strong. Do I believe? Yes, of course. When one has nothing but hatred and fear one looks beyond the mortal for hope. The gods are there, getting their attention – that’s another matter entirely.

Another question? What are my hopes for the future? I’m an elf – and even within Tremellic where elves are treated well it’s hard to believe we will ever be truly free. For now the Witch-Hunters ignore Tremellic – Archos pays vast bribes to keep it so but the more we interfere the more likely they are to come. My hopes for the future are to live with the man I love, and to be safe and happy. I hope for the elves to be free, but I know that is a dangerous hope. We cannot simply sit back and do nothing but for every elf we save, for every mage we help the risk of Order ‘pacification’ increases. My hopes are that we live to see another sun rise, another moon rise. I will say this – despite my fear I will never again become a prisoner of the Order. I will live as freely as I can or die trying. The Order think they rule this land, think they rule magic. Magic does not agree.

Well, thank you for your time, Dii’. I see we have another guest… Tell me a little about yourself, my good lord.

Ulric Tremayne, son of Lord Joset Tremayne of Reldfield. I am heir to the lands, and all its chattels. I am twenty-five or so. Really does it matter? As yet there is no Lady Tremayne. My mother is father’s…concubine. She is a mage – but that is of no matter. In our lands she has protection. Have I a wife? Not yet, I do not need the burden of a wife and my father is still young enough to have many years left to him and perhaps if he takes another mistress there will be another son.

I like the company of women. I am the master’s son and so if I command they warm my bed. Then there is Dii. Such a sweet creature, poor soul. But of course she’s a Kept. Property. I suppose Mama is too, if I think about it. There is no point in taking Dii as any more than the whore she is – any offspring would be half-elven bastards. Dii brings me pleasure but it can never be more than that. Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Black hair, young and handsome.

What is your role in the story?

I’m the son of Lord Joset Tremayne. When Dii runs away I go to seek her. Father has a temper, he does not treat her kindly and so if I can return her to the household I may be able to pacify him. Dii is his prize Kept, she has certain….skills, and charms. Dii brings us a goodly amount of coin. Besides it is dangerous world for a young elven woman. Dii knows nothing of it. She is safer within our house.

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

I suppose you could almost say Dii is my foster sister. Mama certainly tries to treat her as a daughter. My mother had a true born daughter once – stillborn. I don’t recall her, I was either very young or not yet born. I try and tell mother Dii is just a Kept, an elf but it doesn’t help. I worry for them both. Father could easily end his protection and Mama would have nothing, perhaps end in the Enclave prison, or worse. Dii is an elf and a mage. The Order do not look kindly on her type.

Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

I live in Reldfield. It’s a town West of Jaeden and the city. We have other holdings but that is where my father chooses to reside.

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

I can take any girl I choose in the household or from among the Kepts. Dii is my favourite but I am a young man, I take my pleasures where I wish.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Finding Dii. The foolish girl ran from our protection. You’d not think it so hard to find one red-haired elven girl but she’s clever. She finds herself a protector. Dii has something about her, an allure. Many men find her irresistible.

Do you have a moral code?

I wish to protect the honour of the House of Tremayne, and of course our interests. I don’t think I’m cruel but well, elves are elves aren’t they? The law is the law.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I have an attraction towards red-haired women, but I can’t think why.

*to herself* Glad I’m a brunette! *back to Ulric* What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

What will I do with Dii when I find her?

I’ll bring her home. I know she fears my father but I’m sure I can placate him. At least I think so.

What do I think of the Order of Witch-Hunters?

They can be….heavy handed at times. I mean one hears stories but rumours are just that rumour. Erana can’t be an easy land to rule – there are many factions after all. They leave us alone – in fact now I think of it some of my father’s cronies wear the colours of the Order. It helps to sweeten them, after all my mother is a mage. I try and stay out of their way but I know mother and Dii fear them. The law is the law.

_____________

LBTS Book IThese characters appear in Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series – an adult fantasy/fantasy romance series, with a touch of erotica.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

Available as an e-book in all the Amazon stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores.

Also available as a paperback on Createspace and Amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1481255622

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481255622

Audio Book

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Light-Beyond-the-Storm-Chronicles-Book-1-Audiobook/B01DAQSCIC/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles-Book/dp/B01DAQRYV8/

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Beyond-Storm-Chronicles-Book/dp/B01DASVPLQ/

***

More info on the author’s website

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! He’s author of the month on Goodreads, so if you don’t have enough with these, go ask him questions on the Smashwords Authors group as well! He’s just completed NaNoWriMo! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Albert Yates!

Where do you live and write from?
I live and write from Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada. It’s the part of Canada attached to Maine. Not the one to the north of Maine, that’s Quebec. We’re over to the east. I grew up in a little fishing community on almost the furthest point east in Nova Scotia. I think I got a lot of my creative energy growing up there, some of the more famous Celtic musicians all grew up in the same area I did.
Why do you write?
I love to read and I want to create a story or series that I would want people to read and get excited about. I’ve come across so many book series that once I start I have to finish immediately. Those are the types books that I want to write.
When did you start writing?
I have always written stories, growing up I would write little stories as part of my homework assignments. I did not write anything of substantial size until after I finished university when I wrote a few short stories.
What genre(s) do you write?
I write traditionally horror. I’ve done a couple of suspense short stories when I was in university but I enjoy finding ways to terrify myself when I’m writing.
What does your writing routine consist of?
My routine is something like this:
  • turn on computer open up current manuscript
  • open web browser and click through a few pages of reddit
  • find playlist or band that I think will want to listen to
  • re-read the last couple of paragraphs that I wrote
  • go back to reddit and see if there’s anything new
  • type away on the keyboard
When I really want to get some writing done I have to turn off the WiFI on my computer so that I just stay off the internet altogether.
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
I would have to say that building the characters in my stories is one of my strengths, or finding creative ways for some one to meet their end.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
I find inspiration in what scares or worries me. If I find something sending chills down my spine thinking about it then that’s going to have the same effect on someone else which is the ultimate goal.
I’ve never put myself in my stories, I might take something from my life and use that as the basis for something that I write, but I’ve never named a character after myself.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
With my latest book, that I started the first of November to coincide with NaNoWriMo I tried to be an outliner. I had a grand plan that covered 31 chapters for my book. By the end of my 2nd week of writing I was so frustrated with writing that I couldn’t see past the next plot point that I had written down. I was constantly going back to the outline to see what I was supposed to be doing.  The last 3 days of November I abandonded my plan and managed to throw down 12,000 words with little problem.
When I’m in the mood to be writing I’m a fast writer. I take all of the thoughts in my head and splatter them all over my keyboard. I’m a programmer by trade so I’m a very skilled typist, which isn’t something you hear most programmers bragging about.
Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)
I have one book published currently about how one man’s life changes when the world starts to die around him. Everyone thinks that they’d be a survivor if something like this happened in real life, some would survive longer than others based on chance and circumstance more than anything.
Summary:
The world has become a different place since Henry woke up this morning and decided to go for a run on his treadmill. His neighbour seems to be acting strange, no one is working at the radio station, and the 911 operator rushed him off the phone when he called. What happened to his town while he was sleeping and will Henry be able to survive the dangers that lie outside of his house?
It could use a little polish since I’ve learned so much from working on my current story.
I’m currently writing the sequel to this book, there will likely be a few more after this as well, which follows Henry and his small group of survivors as they deal with their greatest challenge: other survivors. I want the book to show the real struggle that would happen if the dead rose from their graves, how people interact and treat one another. I think the struggle to deal with the freedom from rules, lack of oversight and fear from police really will play a big part in how the world deals with such an event.
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie publishing. I like the freedom of setting my own deadlines, writing about topics that I enjoy without having to worry if the publisher even will print what I come up with. That might not be the case any more, but that is what I have in my mind what dealing with a publisher is like. I also wanted to make my book available for free. As a new author I wanted as many people as possible to access my book, I feel the exposure for it is the greatest reward.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
I always have a few stories and ideas floating around in the back of my mind. Once I finish this series I plan on expanding some of the stories I wrote a couple of years ago. One is an homage to 80s slasher movies which is probably where everyone gets their start in scary movies.
I would love to create a collection of short stories. There is more freedom to do something small and satisfying with a smaller story than when you have to keep the pace going in a longer work like a novel. Writing a story based on a thought that you had while driving down the road will get the creative juices going sooner and might allow you to expand it into something bigger later. Those have been some of my favourite books, whenever Stephen King puts out a new book it always ends up on my To-Read list, but when that book is a collection of stories, it goes right to the top of the list.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
My goal as a writer, right now, is to create a world that people can get lost in. A world that they’ll want to come back to again and tell all of their friends about it.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t know that I was ever given any advice about writing other than the notes and commendations that my professors in university gave me from my essays when I turned them in. As a computer science student I took a number of history and sociology courses that did not have tests but essays for grading, my professors were always impressed with my papers and it did mean a lot to me at the time.
For my final assignment in my Computer Science degree I did have to do a research paper and presentation, my advisor at the time was the Dean of the faculty who gave me a great grade on my report.
______
Where to find him:
%d bloggers like this: