Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call it… here’s your monthly dose of quotes! 🙂 (and thank you, Lyn, for posting the #LTUE2018 quotes)

“… Every time you write a book, you’re actually writing two books at the same time – the one on the page, and the one in your head. That’s why it’s so difficult to edit your own work – because when you read what’s on the page, you’re filling in the gaps with the stuff that’s only in your head…”
– Maxwell Drake
#LTUE2018

“…There is no such thing as Writer’s Block. All writer’s block means is that you’re bored, you want to be doing something else, you’re stuck, you’d rather be playing Call of Duty. Want to know how to get past writer’s block? Give yourself a good shake, clear your head, sit down in the chair and get back to work, and remember that this is the best job in the world and how lucky you are to have it… and that just like any other job, you don’t get to wallow if you want to get paid. I mean really, how long would an accountant last if one day he looked at his spreadsheets and was too bored with them to do his job? Who would hire a builder who lost the vision halfway into building a house? I could go on, but you get my point – if you want to have a carer as a writer, you don’t get to have writer’s block…”
Larry Correia
#LTUE2018

“…If you want to effectively write the other [other gender, race, culture, politics] you have to start by doing your homework. Get out of your comfort zone. Meet people who are different from you; talk to them and listen to what they say. Read books written by/for people with other points of view. Open your thinking. And keep in mind that no matter how much research you do, the character you’re writing only represents one person, and not all members of the other group…”
(Panel discussion)
#LTUE2018

“…As humans, we operate on a trust cycle – for example, I trusted a pilot I had never met to fly a plane built by people I didn’t know to bring me here to speak to a room of strangers. And even though we know there’s no guarantee of a tomorrow, we plan for it anyway. Science Fiction builds on this forward-thinking mindset…”
– Todd McCaffrey
#LTUE2018

“A good writer can watch a cat pad across the street and know what it is to be pounced upon by a Bengal tiger.”

― John le Carré

Advertisements

Writer Wednesday


yay! Now I better add Dropbox and start using it…

Well, then, even though Brand New Writing Computer has just arrived, last week I wrote 16K. It pays to write longer works, doesn’t it? I’m probably halfway with this one and hopefully will wrap it up by next week. But, like I said, I won’t publish much for the first half of the year – although the second half might be quite crowded! 😉

And Celebrating Male Lovers is live! Happy Valentine! Sorry I never cared much for this holiday, but if you do, enjoy your day with your beloved, man or woman or whatnot. Soon another bundle will come out, so stay tuned…

If you’re a writer and want your books in a bookstore (and a physical one at that) or libraries, please support this Kickstarter. I saw the shop with the previous owner and look forward to seeing it again whenever I make it back to the Oregon Coast (hopefully in 2020). They even added something extra for writers! 🙂

So, indie authors, get ready for a bright future. Of course there are still a few things wrong with indie publishing (either listen to the podcast or read the post about What’s wrong with Indie Publishing), but if you can get productive (here’s a good strategy for you) and find a good cover designer (or even a place with stock photos for your genre) or help an artist by ordering her commissions, you’re one step ahead.

Me, I’m taking it easy this year. I keep hearing contrasting things about AMS and FB ads (someone even suggesting to stop blogging – which I might do, eventually, if I run out of things to say) and I certainly don’t want to spend weeks watching AMS dashboard and tweaking keywords, so not for me, not at this time.

Not audio either, since I don’t seem to be able to connect my D2D titles directly to Findaway Voices that seem to have problems on certain audio retailers anyway, so… I’ll stick to ebooks and paperbacks for now. And submitting short stories to traditional paying markets.

Back to writing! Have a great week! 😀

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! A fellow fantasy author! Many of the new followers probably already know her, but I’m delighted to introduce her to everybody else! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome A.J. Flowers!

banner-820x320.gifWhere do you live and write from?

I live in Detroit and I typically write in a comfy chair looking at the snowy landscape (or active squirrels!) – This is also my cat’s favorite pastime. Sounds peaceful? I forgot to mention I’m usually tuning out my husband’s videogames or TV shows lol.

Why do you write?

I have an inexplicable urge to be creative. I tried art, photography, and while I was decent at those, writing held the most freedom. I can create entire worlds with the only limit being my imagination! It’s the best pastime there is!

When did you start writing?

Like most writers, as soon as I could pick up a pencil! I wrote poetry and stories throughout high school, and I wrote my first novel in college.

What genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy and most of its subgenres.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I write, or work on writerly tasks such as editing and marketing, pretty much any free moment I get. That means fifteen minutes in the morning, fifteen at lunch at my day job, maybe an hour when I get home, and then as many hours as my husband can handle on the weekends! I love writing and I’ll never get enough.

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

My main strength is that I don’t suffer writer’s block like I see from many other authors. My problem is I have too many stories in my head to write and I have to pick one (or three). I focus best when I make a daily schedule and make a plan of what I’m going to be working on for the next few months. That keeps me focused rather than getting caught up in a hundred different storylines.

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

I just sit down and start writing. No inspiration necessary, although I do enjoy the occasional Skyrim soundtrack to get me in my own head. I wouldn’t say I put myself in my stories, but every writer will take and borrow from their own life. I’d say that in my first novel, Fallen to Grace, I relate to Azrael and her struggles of being so different from everyone else, and learning that being different could mean she could make a difference in the world for the better.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I used to be a pantser, but after trashing over 100k in words, I started doing a hybrid method of loose, bulletpoint outlines paired with letting the words take me. I have gotten faster at writing. I target 1-2k words on a workday, and 10k words on a weekend.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book would be Rise to Hope, book two in the Celestial Downfall Trilogy. This is really a trilogy from the heart. Most of the reviews are readers completely taken aback. They didn’t expect this story and praise how unique and broad the world-building is. I love books from Robin Hobb and Mercedes Lackey, but I wanted to write that kind of magic system in the style of Unearthly or Angelfall. So my angel fantasy was born and I just love it. I’m glad readers seem to love it too!

While this is a difficult niche to market, I don’t regret writing it. I’m constantly trying out new strategies to get my work in front of readers. I’ll be hosting an Angels & Magic boxed set with 15 other authors this summer, so I’m super excited to see how it turns out!

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie published all the way. I had a traditional publisher interested in my angel series, but once I looked at the pros and cons, I realized I wanted to go indie. Angel fantasy is a small niche and difficult to market, and publishers didn’t hide the fact they had no plans to help me market—yet they’d take 90% of my royalties. I can hire my own editors and cover designers, so if a publisher isn’t going to support my visibility, I don’t see the benefit.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m wrapping up the Celestial Downfall Trilogy of course, but I’m also writing a bonus standalone novel with it! I’ve had a beautiful cover commissioned and am already shoving it off on it’s long-term pre-order.
Link: https://www.books2read.com/ManorSaffron

AJ Announcement post

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

My goal is to improve as a writer with each book I write and to get my work in front of readers who will love it. I studied writing for two years before I took the plunge into publishing. I constantly am reading craft books, listening to marketing podcasts, and am delving into the community of indie authors to learn from them, as well as support them too. It’s a great community and I love being a part of it. I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!

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

There are so many successful authors out there that sometimes it can get intimidating. The best advice I was given was to “keep my eyes on my own paper.” I write at my pace, and I write what I love. I have a small, but strong, readership and it is growing every day. Last year, no one knew who I was. This year, I received a comment on my blog from a lady who was in a lot of pain and said my stories were the only thing that helped her to escape from it. It made me cry! So it just goes to show, I’m doing something right, and I’m going to keep doing it!

AJ-flowers.com

Facebook

Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/AJNewsletterSignup

Newsletter sign-ups get “Fallen to Grace” for free!

Writer Wednesday


The bad news is… only 27500 words in January. If I want to reach my goal of 500K, I need to write 10K a week! So I have some catching up to do in that department.

The good news is… I completed 4 stories that are now with the proofreader and that I will submit to traditional markets (one as per guidelines, the others to any available in that genre)!

But the other bad news is… already 3 rejections (2 from December submissions, 1 from January). In this case the good news is… one more story to submit to traditional markets and I have two stories ready for Nightly Bites Volume 2, one published and one unpublished, like it was for volume 1! 🙂

To keep the trend of bad/good news: Bad = still no fixed writing schedule, good = started off on the next heroine novel and going steadily forward, in spite of stopping to rummage through old diaries (in part 1 she’s 15, an age I have long forgotten, glad I was write-aholic even then, LOL!).

I also noticed interesting patterns in old summaries of my stories (the outlines of the stories I didn’t write), but I’d rather not discuss them after the #Metoo campaign. It’s true that we’ve been educated, as women, to just accept certain things that are not okay. And in my ingenuity, I really thought those things could happen.

Oh well, I was a teenager with an overdramatic sense of story, like Samantha says in Ciaran&Harith! 😉 Which you can also read in the upcoming Celebrating Male Lovers bundle, in case you want to try other authors…

The writerly links of the week: D2D and discoverability. Looking forward to that. Also an excellent article on writing fiction. Now go write that story. And the good of indie publishing in 2017! To those things I can add the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, like I mentioned in the comments of the post.

I can’t speak highly enough of BundleRabbit, since I used it both for bundles and for collaborations. More to come of both, probably the only publications for the first six months.

I do have a couple of titles still in the drawer (one is a collection that still lacks a cover, the other two still need tweaking or redrafting or I don’t know what else), but expect most of the new titles in the second half of the year.

I have missed a few events last weekend – Superstars of Writing along with 20BooksTo50K in London along with a sci-fi festival somewhere else in Europe, but well… I had just come back from London and I still haven’t requested a new passport to head overseas – as for the third event, I learned about it because a friend posted he was there. Meh.

Now I intend to dive back into my diving cave. I have a schedule to establish, even though I don’t have that new writing computer yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


And the publisher’s site has been revamped, although I still need to work on it! 🙂 I’m still reading my bundles co-authors, sci-fi, so I guess I’ll keep going in that direction and get back to Silvery Earth when I’m done with the stories I’m currently writing.

Two are shorts that can be submitted (and they will be submitted as soon as the Mighty Proofreader has a pass on them) but they are tied to the next book of the sub-series, so I guess I can start working on that one in February. I’m still pondering if making it a trilogy and other separate books about other characters or what. Writing series, it is a bitch! 😉

I’m not really concentrating on publishing and marketing this year, but I do keep an eye on the marketplace. And if “likes” don’t really sell, let’s hope that the partnership between Kobo and Wallmart will bring in more sales! Mighty Zon badly needs some competition in the U.S. of A. and I hope the nippo-Canadians can do it! 😉

Speaking of Mighty Zon and Author Earnings… I’m glad to be just a blip in that pie chart (with still zero sales on Amazon this year). If you have the time and inclination, go study the latest report… and there are still no answers about their wish to sell authors’ earnings to whoever can shell that kind of money. Again, makes me happy I don’t earn much, LOL! 😀

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t read at all, you must have heard of the passing of Ursula K. LeGuin. I did not finish her Earthsea trilogy (but I bought it at the end of last century, when my English wasn’t so good – I only remember that it was boring and I gave it away at the library of the school for foreigners I was attending for a two-week course back then), but I enjoyed The Dispossessed (which I read this century, although at this time I don’t remember any of it, only that I finished it, while the previous one I bought was given away barely started).

So, yeah, not such a big mourning for me. But then the reason why I write died in the 1970s, so… I guess I don’t care anymore about meeting my writing inspirations… 🙂 Still, check these words of wisdom by her, carefully compiled by Chuck Wendig – an unmissable “best of” (and another book to the ToBuy list, sigh!)!

Now I better go back to writing… still not in that prospected routine, darn it! Hopefully when I start working on longer works, or as soon as I finish the current story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Well, I’m giving up on Giveaways. No entries on this blog for ebooks (except for Tori, as usual, it’s a discussion between me and her, with Joleene or Shafali jumping in every now and then) and Goodreads has changed its policy. Since I’m not in the US, I won’t be able to give away my proofs anymore. Thank you, Mighty Zon. I hope the guy who keeps asking me books to give away stops doing so.

Maybe one day I’ll try a BookBub or something like that, but not this year. Add to this the changes in social media and other algorithms… This year I just don’t care.

I haven’t gotten into my writing routine yet, so I’d rather work on that instead. It might be for the nature of this month’s writing – short stories, so I waste time inbetween stories (and I gave up one after 300 words or so because I’d need way too much research to make it believable). I hope when I get back to longer works I’ll be able to establish my writing routine. I’m still waaaay below my expected wordcount.

More writing and less publishing worries means I might not only catch up on my fiction TBR pile, but also the non-fiction! I’ve had Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible on my Kindle for years… but still got Amazon Decoded, hoping to get to all of them this year! 🙂

And here’s another list of books that I should probably check… later on! 🙂 I guess I’ll have to develop those skills, sooner or later… sigh! Trying those 7 ways to stay positive as a writer for now! I did join 20BooksTo50K (although I’m still kind of just lurking or commenting on other people’s posts) and I am reading more than before (#1 and 3), but the rest… still some work to do! 🙂

On the bundles front! Mythic Tales is on sale and will be gone at the end of the month. Immortals will come out in February (and here you have an interview with Kaylyn) and then Celebrating Male Lovers.

Hopefully at the beginning of February I’ll have a few shorts to submit to markets and I should hear from a couple of places I submitted to in December as well. I think I started a new sub-series with the latest two! 😉

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


A warm welcome to the new blog followers and Facebook likers – hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂 I’m a prolific writer, but my blog posts are getting shorter each year, haha! Anyway, reader, fellow author, passer-by, welcome and happy scrolling.

So, Year of Writing Madly, Month of Short Stories report! 2 down, from the openings of the online fantasy workshop. For the second I discarded almost 2K and changed direction, but I’m very happy with it. It’s my first foray into steampunk – in a portal fantasy story.

Trying to write a sci-fi short before the end of the month, otherwise I’ll do another assignment of the fantasy workshop that I skipped at the time and write a story exploring a part of Silvery Earth I haven’t seen much yet, only in passing and probably only in Books of the Immortals, Air and Axelle, Wanderer. It will be the prequel to one of the longer novels I plan to write.

Then in February I’m going back to Silvery Earth, since the awesome cover artist Federica Manfredi is doing all the heroines… makes me want to write all the books at the same time, LOL!

But I need priorities. I do have an ongoing series of Vampires Through the Centuries with a novella coming out May 2nd and a novel on Nov. 2, so… March I’ll have to do that.

I’m not really battling creative exhaustion, more publishing exhaustion! 😉 Considering that January started with 3 sales during the Kobo Promo (we’re talking the first 5 days of the year) and nothing since… I’ll just stop checking those dashboards.

I published Soul Thieves because I wrote it (redrafted it) last year, but for the things I’m writing this year… you’ll have to ask for them, LOL! The short stories will go out to paying markets first, and if nobody buys them, I’ll gather them at the end of the year in a collection.

Oh, and the Valentine’s bundle is now available for pre-order! 10 awesome stories of m/m romance for a quiet Valentine’s Day (if you believe in such a thing, says the aromantic old spinster)! 😉

And I’m working on some paperbacks, I should have the final version soon… All Saturday the Createspace Cover Creator didn’t work, but on Sunday I managed to update the two covers and add the third, so that Monday I could order the proofs.

Maybe sometime I ought to do some new book trailers… mmm… *jots it down on the calendar*

Onward to the next story. Have a great week! 🙂

 

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


Trying to get into the new writing schedule that is supposed to concentrate the writing in a couple of hours per day and leave the rest of the procrastination – I mean, the rest of the publishing and social media out of it. I also set up a spreadsheet for Team Wordcount (two people is still a team, right?) to keep track of new words written.

I started keeping count in 2015 when I reported weekly to a list. I did the same in 2016. And then last year I decided to just keep count, report here once a month, and that was it. And I wrote even less than the previous years. So this year I’m reporting again to my teammate and we cheer each other onward.

I have completed one short story of the intended few and working on the second. Both will be sent out next month after a pass by Mighty Proofreader, just in case! 😉 It was so hard to get started on this one (unrelated to any of my series, so some worldbuilding to do) that I was considering keeping those shorter ideas as fillers when I’m done with the novel of the month, LOL!

Anyhow, we’ll see how this week proceeds. Now some writerly links! 🙂

An article about Amazon that says it’s updated, but it doesn’t look updated to me. The top 10 things all authors should know about Amazon doesn’t seem to consider the birth of KU/KDP Select and the demise of the Createspace store (and keeps calling the algorithms “logarithms”, but that’s another story, LOL!). But I agree with most of it – except I don’t seem to get any reviews. Meh.

And I certainly won’t give them exclusivity ever, especially since they keep messing up. I don’t know how any author can put up with that shit. New year, old problem and Mighty Zon does nothing to correct. I’m almost scared to do anything on there, and I’m wide! 😦 I even tried KDPprint, and deleted the book after a failed attempt. Back to Createspace for the time being.

And of course, like many out there, I hope one day to do like Tracy Cooper-Posey who went wide and quit her day job. You might remember her interview on this very blog for the bundle that is going away soon, so grab it before the weekend, since I’ll archive it on Saturday.

Yes, Sci-fi July is going away for good, but Remembering Warriors is now live and I’m still working on the Valentine bundle. And Mythic Tales will also go away at the end of the month, so grab it now! 🙂

l got the most important cover (for a new titke, the other one is for a collection of published stories) by the awesome San and here you have a cover reveal!

 

Weekend formatting and upload, stay tuned… Have a great week! 🙂 Oh, and Happy Birthday to Da Muse… here’s to hoping that his sabbatic year from Bollywood is over!! 😉

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: